(HealthDay News) — Irrational health beliefs, but not depression, predict adherence to cardiac rehabilitation (CR), according to a study published in Health Psychology.

Derek R. Anderson and Charles F. Emery, PhD, from The Ohio State University in Columbia, investigated depression and irrational health beliefs as predictors of adherence to CR. Sixty-one participants (mean age, 59.9 years) completed a baseline questionnaire when they were recruited at the outset of an outpatient CR program. The correlations between depression and irrational health beliefs and adherence to CR, defined as the percentage of exercise sessions completed, were assessed.

The researchers found that better CR adherence was seen in association with older age and higher income (both P<0.05), while lower adherence was seen for African-Americans than Caucasians (P<0.01). No correlation was seen between depression and adherence (P=0.78). After adjustment for race/ethnicity, income, and age, irrational health beliefs predicted adherence to CR (P<0.05).

“These pilot data support the relevance of further examining irrational health beliefs in the context of other health behaviors, such as diet, smoking, and alcohol use, among patients with cardiac disease as well as in the context of other chronic health problems,” the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)