Relationship of Activity Status Prior to Experiencing a Cardiac Event and Levels of State and Trait Hopelessness

Faculty Mentor(s)

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

Document Type


Event Date



Several studies exist that examine the relationship of hopelessness and depression in individuals after they have experienced a cardiac event; however, few examine the relationship of hopelessness and exercise prior to an acute exacerbation of cardiac heart disease (CHD). The purpose of this project was to evaluate the relationship between an individual’s activity status prior to their cardiac event and the level of both state and trait hopelessness they reported while in the hospital. Abramson’s Theory of Hopelessness Depression was used as a guide for this research, as this model distinguishes hopelessness from depression. Hopelessness is feelings of uncertainty or negativity towards one’s future and can be evaluated independent of depression. This non-experimental study collected data using the Duke Activity Status Index and the Dunn-Tintle State/Trait Hopelessness Scale. Data collection occurred in acute care setting at patients bedside by senior nursing students and nursing faculty. The sample included 520 cardiac patients with CHD who were enrolled into the study during their stay on either of two cardiac units at a large teaching hospital in West Michigan, and who were to be discharged to a home setting. Limitations to the study include the data was collected at only one hospital and the lack of ethnic diversity within the sample. Data was analyzed with SPSS 19.0 Statistical® software. Results and conclusions are pending. Expected analysis includes descriptive statistics and correlations. These study results may include education for nurses to further encourage participation in cardiac rehabilitation exercise after a CHD event, education regarding assessment, prevention, and treatment of feelings of hopelessness in CHD patients, and basis for further research.

This document is currently not available here.