Coping as a Moderator of the Associations between Risk Knowledge, Perceived Risk, and Health Behaviors in Adolescents and Young Adults with Congenital Heart Disease
Keywords:Congenital Heart Disease
Positive Health Behaviors
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Psychology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2014
There is a growing population of individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD) who now survive into adulthood. These individuals are at risk for future cardiac related comorbidities and research shows they have a poor understanding of healthcare requirements necessary to mitigate them. Patient perception of future health risks has not been explored in CHD patients and may influence how well individuals deal with future complications. This study evaluated future risk perception by measuring perceived risk, which is the number of future health complications a patient believes he/she is at risk and risk knowledge, which is how accurate an individual is based off of personal diagnosis. Furthermore, this study evaluated the association between perceived risk, risk knowledge and specific health behaviors related to diet and exercise that may improve health outcomes. The study also evaluated how this relationship is moderated by coping. Coping is voluntary behavior that involves engaging or disengaging with stressors. Participants included adolescents and adults with CHD (N=200) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital ranging in age from 15-39 (M = 24.5 ±6.7) with varying levels of disease severity (simple = 23%, moderate= 45%, severe= 32%). Self-report measures included a CHD knowledge questionnaire evaluating perceived risk and risk knowledge, saturated fat intake and physical activity, and a response-to-stress questionnaire to identify coping styles. Results showed an association between perceived risk and risk knowledge (r = .58, p=.01). A positive correlation was found between age and risk knowledge (r= .49, p=.01). Multiple regression analysis showed that coping strategies did not interact with risk knowledge to predict saturated fat intake or physical activity.
Academic Major: Psychology