Psychological Predictors of Adherence and Outcomes Among Patients in Cardiac Rehabilitation

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PURPOSEThe purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of optimism, depression, and neuroticism on adherence and outcomes among patients in cardiac rehabilitation (CR).METHODSParticipants included 46 patients (34 men) with coronary heart disease (CHD) who completed measures of psychological functioning (optimism, depression, neuroticism), physical functioning (exercise stress test, body mass index, symptom reports), and CHD knowledge during the first week (baseline) and last week of a 12-week CR program.RESULTSBaseline depression scores accounted for 9.5% of the variance associated with change in aerobic capacity (maximum oxygen consumption), when controlling for relevant demographic variables and program attendance. However, optimism and neuroticism were not predictive of CR outcomes. Results also indicated that program dropouts were significantly younger and reported more psychological distress at baseline than did participants who completed the program.CONCLUSIONDepression appears to have a significant influence on adherence and improvement among patients in CR, but optimism and neuroticism were not significant predictors of change.

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