Socio-demographic variations in perspectives on cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors
Gabhainn, S. N.
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Gabhainn, S. N. (1999). Socio-demographic variations in perspectives on cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors. Health Education Research 14 (5), 619-628
Coronary heart disease (CHD) rates in Ireland are very high but little is known about attitudes to the disease. Qualitative attitudinal data were collected in focus group settings from 74 individuals across socio-demographic categories in order to assess knowledge of and attitudes to CHD and associated risk factors. Focus group questions were derived from group deconstruction of constructs from the Health Belief Model? Theory of Planned Behaviour, Protection Motivation Theory and Social Learning Theory. Participants were drawn from the personnel lists of local government and a health authority hospital. Eight types of groups were constructed according to the various permutations of the three variables: age, gender and occupational group. Analyses revealed good knowledge levels about risk factors among participants. However, participants exhibited mixed loci of control and low motivation to change behaviours. Men generally were less motivated to change than women; older men thought it too late and younger ones too soon. Though white and blue collar groups' views were similar, the discussion in white collar groups was more varied. Participants were sceptical about apparently contradictory medical advice which undermined motivation to change. The data complement earlier work and suggest preventative initiatives should be more focused.