Identifying perceptions of health promotion barriers and benefits in individuals at risk for coronary heart disease
Weston, Nicolett Marie
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Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the single largest cause of death in the U.S., and is also the leading cause of death in Montana. In addition, the estimated direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. for 2007 were $431.8 billion. Anticipated barriers to health promotion behavior have been shown to affect intentions to engage in and execute the behaviors. Exploring individual's perception of the benefits of health promotion behaviors is equally important when addressing barriers to making lifestyle changes. CHD is strongly associated with modifiable risk factors including physical inactivity, poor diet, and tobacco use. Although CHD risk factors have been studied extensively, few studies have assessed individuals' combined perceptions of barriers and benefits as reasons for non-adherence to recommended health promotion behaviors related to CHD risk and most of these studies included only women. The purpose of this research study was to examine perceived barriers and benefits to CHD risk modification in men and women living in a rural western state. Two survey tools were used to collect the data from a convenience sample of persons seen in the cardiac care areas at a local hospital in a rural western state. The findings of this study provided important information about the perceived barriers and benefits to CHD risk modification of persons previously diagnosed or at risk for CHD. Results from this study imply that in order to develop effective interventions, it is important to understand the individual and his or her unique characteristics including gender, socioeconomic status, and education level in relation to his or her perceived barriers and benefits to health promotion. Nurse practitioners and other primary care providers can incorporate this knowledge into future strategies to reduce or eliminate barriers, increase perceived benefits, and promote health promotion behaviors in individuals who are at risk for developing CHD. Advocating for health promotion behavior adoption and CHD risk modification offer a very important and practical tool for providers to help individuals address and lower risk factors as well as prevent CHD and treat individuals with established CHD.