Cardiac Misconceptions in FIRST-MI PATIENTS: Preliminary Results From an Intervention Study
Background: Cardiac patients hold beliefs about their illness that can be misconceived and negatively affect adjustment. This study tested the efficacy of an intervention aimed at dispelling cardiac misconceptions in myocardial infarction (MI) patients. Methods: 86 first-MI patients were randomized to control or intervention group. The intervention consisted of 1 in-hospital session followed by 4 phone calls after discharge. Patients were assessed at baseline and 4 months later. The main outcomes were cardiac misconceptions, illness perceptions, perceived health-related quality of life, anxiety, depression and health behaviours. Findings: At the 4-month follow-up, patients in the control group had significantly higher misconceptions, more negative illness perceptions, and higher levels of depression than patients in the intervention group. Also, a significantly higher proportion of participants reported doing exercise in the intervention group than in the control group. Discussion: A cardiac misconception intervention can be effective in altering MI patients’ erroneous beliefs and negative illness perceptions, with beneficial effects over depression levels and exercise behaviours.