Abstract 19680: Fatalism does not Decrease Effectiveness of interventions to Improve Cardiovasuar Health
Background: There is a long standing belief that lifestyle interventions to decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk are less effective in individuals who have a fatalistic (preordained) view of health. Rural Appalachian Kentucky is a region perceived to have a culture that includes fatalistic views toward health, which may make lifestyle interventions less effective. One of the most challenging lifestyle modifications is change in diet.
Objective: To compare responses of adults with high vs. low levels of fatalism to a life-style intervention to decrease modifiable CVD risk factors including diet.
Methods: A total of 280 adults with at least one CVD risk factor participated in a 6-month individualized education and goal setting intervention to promote heart healthy lifestyles. As part of the assessment, participants completed food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) at baseline and post-intervention. Fatalism was measured by the Fatalism Scale. Median split of Fatalism Scale scores was used to divide the sample into 2 groups: higher vs. low levels of fatalism. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare post intervention intake of total fat, saturated fat, calories, total sugar, added sugar, number of daily fruit, vegetable, sweets, and fried food servings between groups.
Results: There was a significant decrease post-intervention in total fat, saturated fat, calories, added sugar, and number of sweets and fried foods consumed; while the number of fruit servings consumed daily increased. There were no significant differences post-intervention in nutrient intake between adults with lower vs. higher levels of fatalism; both groups made similar modifications in eating habits.
Conclusion: Adults with high levels of fatalism are willing to make appropriate lifestyle changes to decrease their CVD risk. These results provide evidence to dispel the myth that people living in this region are resistant to changes that will improve their health.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.