Into the cognitive constructs related to adherence to treatment in CHD outpatients: The importance of accepting the disease limitations

Antonia Pierobon, Anna Giardini, Giuseppina Majani, Simona Callegari, Francesca Lenta, Maria Teresa La Rovere, Oreste Febo

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Into the cognitive constructs related to adherence to treatment in CHD outpatients: the importance of accepting the disease limitations. A. Pierobon, A. Giardini, G. Majani, S. Callegari, F. Lenta, M.T. La Rovere, O. Febo. Background and aims: Poor adherence to clinical prescriptions has been recognized as a major problem in management of chronic diseases. Only few studies tried to identify which factors could be considered predictive of low adherence to pharmacological and non pharmacological prescriptions in Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) patients. The aims of our observational-longitudinal study were to assess in CHD outpatients admitted to a Cardiological Day Hospital (DH): self-reported knowledge and acceptance about illness, perceived self-efficacy in disease management and emotional status, and the possible relationships among these variables. Methods: Patients were assessed at baseline during the first days of DH and few days before discharge (follow-up) by the Adherence Schedule in Ischemic Heart Disease (ASI-HD) and by the Anxiety and Depression Scale (AD). The ASIHD is a tool specifically aimed at evaluating the cognitive, relational and behavioural antecedents of adherence to treatment of patients suffering CHD. The rehabilitation programme comprised: individualized physical training, nutrition monitoring, psychological assessment and psycho-educational interventions, when indicated. Baseline and follow-up clinical data, ASHID and AD scores were analysed both considering the whole sample (n=117) and the subgroup which met the clinical criteria for psychological counselling (n=35, psychologically treated group). Intracorrelation and intercorrelation coefficients of the whole sample baseline data were calculated among ASIHD, AD scores and socio-demographic data. Results: Our CHD outpatients (62.6±9.3 years) were mainly male, married and retired. They had 5,2 years of illness on the average, and only 9% of them were still smokers, whereas 62% had smoked in the past. Total and LDL cholesterol levels showed a significant reduction at follow up evaluation. Among ASIHD baseline item scores, many statistically significant intracorrelations emerged, in particular: disease limitations acceptance showed significant positive correlations with disease knowledge (r=.34, p=.0001), family/friend support (r=.27, p=.003), following dietary prescriptions (r=.38, p=.0001), exercise (r=.35, p=.0001), taking medicines punctually (r=.35, p=.0001), identifying physical/psychological fatigue (r=.45, p=.0001), monitoring clinical parameters (r=.42, p=.0001), management of stressful situations (r=.26, p=.006), and reducing stress sources (r=.34, p=.0001). Concerning the significant intercorrelations between AD and ASIHD scores, disease acceptance showed negative correlations with anxiety and depression (r=-.27, p=.004; r=-.26, p=.004 respectively). Conclusions: The pathway stemmed from our data enlights that in the area of cognitive and relational antecedents of adeherence, accepting the disease limitations can be considered a central issue in CHD patient's illness adjustment and prescriptions adherence. Moreover, the ASHID resulted a useful synthetic schedule of psychological/behavioural variables regarding perceived self-efficacy in disease management. This may facilitate a synergic team work on common priorities that respect the point of view of the patient and the clinical-rehabilitation purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • Adherence
  • Anxiety
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Depression
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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