Exercise,Cardiac Rehabilitation Participation, and their Relationship with Hopelessness and Depression in Individiuals with Cardiac Disease

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Susan Dunn, Hope College
Professor Barbara Vincensi, Hope College

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State and trait hopelessness describes acute hopelessness experienced by coronary heart disease patients in response to a sudden heart event, or a chronic tendency for hopelessness present for years. Hopelessness is associated with an increased risk of fatal and non-fatal CHD. The purpose of this study is to describe the frequency and severity of hopelessness (state and trait) and depression over time; and the relationship of state and trait hopelessness and depression to exercise level and participation in a hospital based CR program. The project is based on Abramson’s Theory of Hopelessness Depression. The research design is non-experimental and descriptive. The survey includes demographic data and a questionnaire assessing state and trait hopelessness testing, CR exercise participation, activity status index and patient health. Select participants completed the Beck Hopelessness Scale. A convenient sample of 500 participants was taken from a large West Michigan hospital. Participants were identified based on the diagnosis of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, coronary artery angioplasty, stent, or bypass surgery; cardiac valve surgery. Participant hopelessness, depression, and exercise adherence was monitored for a year after discharge with three follow-up periods at 3 months, 8 months, and one year. Data analysis includes descriptive, correlation, and t-test statistics using SPSS software. Conclusions and results are pending. Limitations include one hospital site for data collection and a convenient sample, decreasing generalizability. Implications may lead to future research of interventions to prevent, decrease, or resolve hopelessness.

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