Predicting Self-Management Behaviors in Familial Hypercholesterolemia Using an Integrated Theoretical Model: the Impact of Beliefs About Illnesses and Beliefs About Behaviors
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The final publication is available at Springer via http://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-015-9531-x
Patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are at markedly increased risk of coronary artery disease. Regular participation in three self-management behaviors, physical activity, healthy eating, and adherence to medication, can significantly reduce this risk in FH patients. We aimed to predict intentions to engage in these self-management behaviors in FH patients using a multi-theory, integrated model that makes the distinction between beliefs about illness and beliefs about self-management behaviors. Methods: Using a cross-sectional, correlational design, patients (N = 110) diagnosed with FH from a clinic in Perth, Western Australia, self-completed a questionnaire that measured constructs from three health behavior theories: the common sense model of illness representations (serious consequences, timeline, personal control, treatment control, illness coherence, emotional representations); theory of planned behavior (attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control); and social cognitive theory (self-efficacy). Results: Structural equation models for each self-management behavior revealed consistent and statistically significant effects of attitudes on intentions across the three behaviors. Subjective norms predicted intentions for health eating only and self-efficacy predicted intentions for physical activity only. There were no effects for the perceived behavioral control and common sense model constructs in any model. Conclusions: Attitudes feature prominently in determining intentions to engage in self-management behaviors in FH patients. The prominence of these attitudinal beliefs about self-management behaviors, as opposed to illness beliefs, suggest that addressing these beliefs may be a priority in the management of FH.
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