The association between psychosocial factors and change in lifestyle behaviour following lifestyle advice and information about cardiovascular disease risk

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Abstract

Background: Physical activity (PA) and fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) are two key modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Achieving change in these behaviours is challenging and affected by many variables including psychosocial factors. We aimed to investigate the association between social support, stress and mood, and change in PA and FVI following provision of CVD risk information and web-based lifestyle advice. Methods: Seven hundred sixteen blood donors (56% male; mean age 57 years) from the intervention arms of the Information and Risk Modification (INFORM) trial, a randomised controlled trial to assess the impact of providing CVD risk and web-based lifestyle information, were analysed as a prospective cohort. We used linear and logistic regression analyses to quantify the association between social support, stress and mood at baseline and behaviour change following the intervention. We modelled objective (average acceleration measured by Axivity AX3 wrist-worn accelerometers and plasma carotenoid levels) and subjective (self-reported recreational PA and FVI) outcomes as change between baseline and 12 weeks follow-up. Results: There was no clear association between social support and change in objective or subjective PA. Higher levels of stress and, to a lesser extent, depression symptoms were associated with smaller improvement in self-reported PA (β -1.53 h/week vigorous PA, 95% confidence interval (CI) -2.30 to -0.75, p < 0.001 for stress; β -1.64 h/week, 95% CI -3.50 to 0.21, p = 0.082 for little interest). Higher social support was associated with greater odds and higher stress was associated with lower odds of increasing self-reported FVI to five portions per day (odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.69, p = 0.020 for social support; OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.76, p < 0.001 for stress). The associations between psychosocial factors and objective FVI were not statistically significant. Conclusions: High stress and low mood may reduce the likelihood and extent of reported change in PA and FVI following CVD risk information and advice. Greater social support may be associated with increased FVI. The role of psychosocial factors should be considered when developing, tailoring and evaluating future interventions. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN17721237. Registered 12 January 2015.

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Dennison, R. A., Feldman, A. L., Usher-Smith, J. A., & Griffin, S. J. (2018). The association between psychosocial factors and change in lifestyle behaviour following lifestyle advice and information about cardiovascular disease risk. BMC Public Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5655-7

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