This one-year follow-up study (n = 130 at baseline, n =2745 at follow-up, aged 45-74 years) examined the relationship of patients' perceptions of coronary heart disease (CHD) and illness-related factors with global health status and global quality of life (QOL) ratings. The independent variables were CHD history (myocardial infarction, revascularisation), CHD severity (use of nitrates, CHD risk factors and co-morbidities) and illness perceptions. In multivariate regression analysis, CHD history and severity explained 13% of variance in global health status and 8% in global QOL ratings at the baseline. Illness perceptions increased the share of explained variance by 18% and 16% respectively. In the follow-up, illness perceptions explained a significant but modest share of variance in change in health status and QOL when baseline health status and QOL and CHD severity were adjusted for more symptoms being attributed to CHD, severe perceived consequences of CHD, as well as a weak belief in the controllability of CHD were related to poor global health status and QOL ratings. In structural path models associations of CHD severity factors were mediated by illness perceptions. The association of disease severity with dependent variables was weaker after controlling for illness perceptions. Cognitive representations of CHD contribute to both global health status and QOL ratings and they also mediate the associations between CHD severity and well-being. No gender differences were found in associations of illness perceptions with health status or QOL ratings.

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Quality of Life Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Aalto, A.-M., Aro, A., Weinman, E., Heijmans, M., Manderbacka, K., & Elovainio, M. (2006). Sociodemographic, disease status, and illness perceptions predictors of global self-ratings of health and quality of life among those with coronary heart disease - One year follow-up study. Quality of Life Research, 15(8), 1307–1322. doi:10.1007/s11136-006-0010-3