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Stability in Cardiac Attributions Before and After Cardiac Rehabilitation

Bennett, Kymberley K. PhD; Harry, Kadie M. MA; Eways, Kalon R. MA; Wilson, Elizabeth J. BA; Clark, Jillian M.R. PhD; Howarter, Alisha D. MA; Murdock, Tamera B. PhD

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000113

Purpose This study examined temporal patterns in causal attributions generated by patients with cardiovascular disease before and after cardiac rehabilitation (CR).

Design Qualitative, descriptive survey.

Methods Eighty-six participants were asked what they believed was the primary cause of their cardiac events. Cardiac attributions were collected at the beginning of CR, at the end of CR, and 15 months after baseline.

Findings Content analyses showed that heredity and behavior were the most commonly generated causes. Most participants showed stability in attributions over time, although we found a trend for more participants endorsing behavioral attributions at the end of the study.

Conclusions Cardiac attributions remain relatively stable across time.

Clinical Relevance Cardiac rehabilitation staff should approach patients differently, depending on their causal narratives. Some patients enter CR understanding that behavior played a causal role, whereas some do not. Encouraging appreciation of the importance of behavior in cardiovascular disease onset and recurrence is vital.

University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA

Correspondence: Kymberley K. Bennett, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5030 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO, 64110. E-mail:

University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Sources of Funding: None.

Cite this article as: Bennett, K. K., Harry, K. M., Eways, K. R., Wilson, E. R., Clark, J. M. R., Howarter, A. D., & Murdock, T. B. (2017). Stability in cardiac attributions before and after cardiac rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00-00. doi: 10.1097/RNJ.0000000000000113

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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