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  1. Beckie, Theresa M. PhD
  2. Beckstead, Jason W. PhD


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program tailored for women with a traditional program on perceptions of health among women with coronary heart disease.


METHODS: This 2-group randomized clinical trial compared the perceptions of health among 92 women completing a traditional 12-week CR program with those of 133 women completing a tailored program that included motivational interviewing guided by the transtheoretical model of behavior change. Perceptions of health were measured using the SF-36 Health Survey at baseline, postintervention, and at 6-month follow-up. Analysis of variance was used to compare changes in SF-36 Health Survey subscale scores over time.


RESULTS: The group-by-time interaction was significant for the general health (F2,446 = 3.80, P = .023), social functioning (F2,446 = 4.85, P = .008), vitality (F2,446 = 5.85, P = .003), and mental health (F2,446 = 3.61, P = .028) subscales, indicating that the pattern of change was different between the 2 groups. Of the 4 subscales on which there were significant group-by-time interactions, the tailored group demonstrated improved scores over time on all 4 subscales, while the traditional group improved on only the emotional role limitations and vitality subscales.


CONCLUSIONS: A tailored CR program improved general health perceptions, mental health, vitality, and social functioning in women when compared with traditional CR. To the extent that perceptions of health contribute to healthy behaviors fostered in CR programs, tailoring CR programs to alter perceptions of health may improve adherence.