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.
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"Without knowledge and support, patients tend to view their chronic illnesses as a life-long burden with no cure, so they became overwhelmed and discouraged. Their susceptibility to complications then becomes lowered without a hope or trust in the social support and healthcare system [13,27,31,32]. Previous findings reported that pacomplications resulted in passive attitudes among patients, and these patients tend to fail to actively manage their chronic illnesses . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Increasing differences in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality across levels of education have been reported in Norway. The aim of the study was to investigate educational inequalities in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) incidence and whether such inequalities have changed during the past decade using a nationwide longitudinal study design.
Data on 141 332 incident (first) AMIs in Norway during 2001–2009 were obtained through the Cardiovascular Disease in Norway (CVDNOR) project. Educational inequalities in AMI incidence were assessed in terms of age-standardised incidence rates stratified on educational level, incidence rate ratios (IRR), relative index of inequality (RII) and slope index of inequality (SII). All calculations were conducted in four gender and age strata: Men and women aged 35–69 and 70–94 years.
AMI Incidence rates decreased during 2001–2009 for all educational levels except in women aged 35–69 among whom only those with basic education had a significant decrease. In all gender and age groups; those with the highest educational level had the lowest rates. The strongest relative difference was found among women aged 35–69, with IRR (95% CI) for basic versus tertiary education 3.04 (2.85–3.24)) and RII (95% CI) equal to 4.36 (4.03–4.71). The relative differences did not change during 2001–2009 in any of the four gender and age groups, but absolute inequalities measured as SII decreased among the oldest men and women.
There are substantial educational inequalities in AMI incidence in Norway, especially for women aged 35–69. Relative inequalities did not change from 2001 to 2009.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106898. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106898 · 3.23 Impact Factor