Associations between behavioral flexibility and health behavior in cardiac patients in the do change trials

M. Habibovic*, J. Piera-Jiménez, M. Wetzels, J.W.G.M. Widdershoven, S.S. Soedamah-Muthu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective
Health behaviors (e.g., physical inactivity, poor diet) are associated with poor prognosis and mortality in cardiac patients. Changing these behaviors is challenging and only a minority of patients succeeds in this endeavor. Studies show that behavioral flexibility (defined as responding less habitually to stimuli and having a large behavioral repertoire) is a potentially important facilitator of health behaviors. The current study examines the association between behavioral flexibility and health behaviors (health responsibility, physical activity, nutrition, spiritual growth, interpersonal relations, stress management) in patients with cardiac disease.

Method
A total of 387 patients with stable cardiac disease were recruited as part of the Do Cardiac Health: Advanced New Generation Ecosystem Trials. Behavioral flexibility (via the Do Something Different Questionnaire) was assessed at baseline and health behaviors including the above described six domains (HPLP-II at baseline, at 3 months, and at 6 months. Linear mixed models were used to answer the research question.

Results
The sample consisted of predominantly male patients (n = 274/71%) with a mean age of 62 (SD = 10), diagnosed with hypertension (n = 198/51%), coronary artery disease (n = 114/30%), and/or heart failure (n = 75/19%). The analyses revealed a positive but small (r = .106–.270, B = .00–.31) association between behavioral flexibility and all self-reported health behaviors over time.

Conclusions
This is the first study to examine the association between behavioral flexibility and health behaviors in cardiac patients. Current results showed a positive association between behavioral flexibility and health behaviors over time. More research is needed to further examine causal effects of behavioral flexibility on health behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-718
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • ACCEPTANCE
  • COMMITMENT
  • DEPRESSION
  • DISEASE
  • INFLEXIBILITY
  • LIFE-STYLE INTERVENTIONS
  • OBESITY
  • PREVENTION
  • RISK
  • VALIDATION
  • behavioral flexibility
  • cardiac disease
  • health behaviors
  • lifestyle

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