Behavioral Interventions for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction - A Focus on Adherence
Approximately one in three U.S. adults has cardiovascular disease (CVD). Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are known to contribute to the disability and death associated with this disease, yet even modest behavior changes can significantly reduce CVD morbidity and mortality. Because the beneficial effects of lifestyle changes accrue over time, long-term adherence is essential to maximize positive health outcomes. Interventions that target behaviors related to diet, physical activity, and weight management often result in significant short-term behavior change; however, sustaining these newly-acquired habits is difficult for many. Thus, we face a persistent challenge to identify strategies that will enhance and promote long-term adherence to current lifestyle recommendations.
Several behavior change interventions employ cognitive-behavioral strategies, which focus on modifying how individuals think about themselves, their health-related behaviors, and the circumstances surrounding these behaviors, as well as on identifying constructive ways to alter their lifestyle. A few of the core strategies for behavior change include self-monitoring the target behavior; setting proximal, specific goals for change; reviewing the recorded behaviors in relation to the set goals; and providing feedback and reinforcement. Additional strategies to support sustained behavior change include self-efficacy enhancement, problem-solving, and the use of motivational interviewing.
This lecture will focus on a program of research that has developed and tested interventions using the aforementioned cognitive-behavioral strategies to achieve improved dietary adherence among adults with hypercholesterolemia and to promote adoption of a healthy lifestyle among adults who are overweight, with the goal of reducing CVD risk.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.