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Title: The association between illness perceptions, resilience, and health risk behaviours in young adults with congenital heart disease
Author: Johnson, Louise
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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Due to medical advances, the number of adults living with congenital heart disease (CHD) is growing. Individuals with CHD are advised to stay healthy in order to prevent cardiac complications. However, there is evidence to suggest that young adults with chronic health conditions engage in risky health behaviours, although few studies have explored possible theoretical explanations to help understand this. This study aimed to (1) explore the health risk behaviours of young adults with CHD; (2) explore the illness perceptions they hold about their CHD and their resilience; and (3) explore the association between illness perceptions, resilience and health risk behaviours. Data from young adults (16-24 year-olds) with CHD were collected (n = 70). Participants completed validated measures of illness perceptions (Illness Perception Questionnaire - Revised), resilience (Resilience Scale), and health risk behaviours (Health Behaviour Scale-CHD). Correlation analyses and logistic regression models were used to explore associations between the variables. Results showed that some participants report engaging in health risk behaviours, including binge drinking, drug taking, smoking, poor dental hygiene and a lack of physical exercise. Increasing age was associated with substance use and age was able to significantly explain some of the variance in reported binge drinking. Some illness perceptions (e.g. consequences, emotional perceptions and personal control) were found to be significant in explaining the variance in health behaviours. However, resilience was not found to be significant in explaining outcomes in health risk behaviours. The study draws tentative conclusions that illness perceptions may play a role in explaining health risk behaviours. The limitations and clinical implications of the study are discussed.
Supervisor: Twiddy, Maureen ; Brennan, Cathy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available