Changes in SAH are associated with initial and change levels of affect among cardiac patients

  • S. Peleg
  • E. Drori
  • S. Shiloh


Background. Self-assessed health (SAH) - measured on a single self-rating scale - predicts health outcomes above and beyond medical variables. One of the explanations for this robust finding is the sensitivity of SAH to changes in multiple aspects of health, including emotional factors. In the present study we assessed the dynamic nature of SAH by longitudinally examining the associations between initial and change levels of SAH and positive and negative affect. Methods. Participants were 138 cardiac patients undergoing coronary angioplasty. Self-report questionnaires measured SAH and positive and negative affect, one day and one month after catheterization. Findings. Means of SAH did not change between measurement points. However, there were significant intra-individual changes in all the measured variables. A latent change model analysis revealed that after controlling for medical and socio-demographic variables: lower initial levels of negative affect were linked to increases in SAH; increases in positive affect and decreases in negative affect were linked to increases in SAH; negative affect (both initial and change levels) had a stronger association with SAH change compared to positive affect; and initial SAH did neither predict change in negative affect nor in positive affect. Conclusions. These findings highlight the importance of both positive and negative affect as independent indicators of SAH and SAH change, and provide further insights into the dynamics of SAH among cardiac patients.
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