RATIONALE: Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a genetic condition that predisposes patients to substantially increased risk of early-onset atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. FH risks can be minimized through regular participation in three self-management. BEHAVIORS: physical activity, healthy eating, and taking cholesterol lowering medication.
OBJECTIVE: The present study tested the effectiveness of an integrated social cognition model in predicting intention to participate in the self-management behaviors in FH patients from seven countries.
METHOD: Consecutive patients in FH clinics from Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, and UK (total N = 726) completed measures of social cognitive beliefs about illness from the common sense model of self-regulation, beliefs about behaviors from the theory of planned behavior, and past behavior for the three self-management behaviors.
RESULTS: Structural equation models indicated that beliefs about behaviors from the theory of planned behavior, namely, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, were consistent predictors of intention across samples and behaviors. By comparison, effects of beliefs about illness from the common sense model were smaller and trivial in size. Beliefs partially mediated past behavior effects on intention, although indirect effects of past behavior on intention were larger for physical activity relative to taking medication and healthy eating. Model constructs did not fully account for past behavior effects on intentions. Variability in the strength of the beliefs about behaviors was observed across samples and behaviors.
CONCLUSION: Current findings outline the importance of beliefs about behaviors as predictors of FH self-management behaviors. Variability in the relative contribution of the beliefs across samples and behaviors highlights the imperative of identifying sample- and behavior-specific correlates of FH self-management behaviors.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.