Heart attack risk perception biases among hypertension patients: The role of educational level and worry
ABSTRACT Risk biases such as comparative optimism (thinking one is better off than similar others) and risk inaccuracy (misestimating one's risk compared to one's calculated risk) for health outcomes are common. Little research has investigated racial or socioeconomic differences in these risk biases. Results from a survey of individuals with poorly controlled hypertension (N=813) indicated that participants showed (1) comparative optimism for heart attack risk by underestimating their heart attack risk compared to similar others, and (2) risk inaccuracy by overestimating their heart attack risk compared to their calculated heart attack risk. More highly educated participants were more comparatively optimistic because they rated their personal risk as lower; education was not related to risk inaccuracy. Neither race nor the federal poverty level was related to risk biases. Worry partially mediated the relationship between education and personal risk. Results are discussed as they relate to the existing literature on risk perception.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Marie Helweg-Larsen, Jul 04, 2015
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ABSTRACT: This study focuses on levels of concern for hurricanes among individuals living along the Gulf Coast during the quiescent two-year period following the exceptionally destructive 2005 hurricane season. A small study of risk perception and optimistic bias was conducted immediately following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Two years later, a follow-up was done in which respondents were recontacted. This provided an opportunity to examine changes, and potential causal ordering, in risk perception and optimistic bias. The analysis uses 201 panel respondents who were matched across the two mail surveys. Measures included hurricane risk perception, optimistic bias for hurricane evacuation, past hurricane experience, and a small set of demographic variables (age, sex, income, and education). Paired t-tests were used to compare scores across time. Hurricane risk perception declined and optimistic bias increased. Cross-lagged correlations were used to test the potential causal ordering between risk perception and optimistic bias, with a weak effect suggesting the former affects the latter. Additional cross-lagged analysis using structural equation modeling was used to look more closely at the components of optimistic bias (risk to self vs. risk to others). A significant and stronger potentially causal effect from risk perception to optimistic bias was found. Analysis of the experience and demographic variables' effects on risk perception and optimistic bias, and their change, provided mixed results. The lessening of risk perception and increase in optimistic bias over the period of quiescence suggest that risk communicators and emergency managers should direct attention toward reversing these trends to increase disaster preparedness.Risk Analysis 11/2013; 34(6). DOI:10.1111/risa.12149 · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: Despite the recent emphasis on a patient-centered chronic care model, few studies have investigated its use in older adults in South Korea. We explored how older Korean adults perceive and cope with their chronic illness. Methods: We conducted focus group interviews in Seoul, Korea in January 2010. Focus groups were formed by disease type (hyper- tension and type 2 diabetes) and gender using purposive sampling. Inclusion criteria were patients aged 60 and over who had been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension and received care at a community health center for at least six months prior to participation. Interview data were analyzed through descriptive content analysis. Results: Among personal factors, most participants felt overwhelmed when they received their diagnosis. However, with time and control of their acute symptoms using medication, their worry diminished and participants tended to denying being identified as a patient or sick person. Among socio-familial factors, participants reported experiencing stigma with their chronic illness and feeling it was a symbol of weakness. Instead of modifying their lifestyles, which might interfere with their social relationships, they resorted to only following their medicine regime prescribed by their doctor. Participants also reported feeling that their doctor only prescribed medications and acted in an authoritative and threatening manner to induce and reinforce participants’ compliance with treatment. Conclusions: For successful patient-centered management of chronic illnesses, supportive environments that include family, friends, and healthcare providers should be established.Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 07/2014; 47(4):236-43. DOI:10.3961/jpmph.2014.47.4.236
- PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106898. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106898 · 3.53 Impact Factor