Relation of Perceived Health Competence to Physical Activity in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease

Am J Cardiol. 2018 May 1;121(9):1032-1038. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.01.024. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Physical inactivity is highly associated with mortality, especially in patients with coronary heart disease. We evaluated the effect of perceived health competence, a patient's belief in his or her ability to achieve health-related goals, on cumulative physical activity levels in the Mid-South Coronary Heart Disease Cohort Study. The Mid-South Coronary Heart Disease Cohort Study consists of 2,587 outpatients (32% were female) with coronary heart disease at an academic medical center network in the United States. Cumulative physical activity was quantified in metabolic equivalent (MET)-minutes per week with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. We investigated associations between the 2-item Perceived Health Competence Scale (PHCS-2) and MET-minutes/week after adjusting for co-morbidities and psychosocial factors with linear regression. Nearly half of participants (47%) exhibited low physical activity levels (<600 MET-minutes/week). Perceived health competence was highly associated with physical activity after multivariable adjustment. A nonlinear relation was observed, with the strongest effect on physical activity occurring at lower levels of perceived health competence. There was effect modification by gender (p = 0.03 for interaction). The relation between perceived health competence and physical activity was stronger in women compared with men; an increase in the PHCS-2 from 3 to 4 was associated with a 73% increase in MET-minutes/week in women (95% confidence interval 43% to 109%, p <0.0001) compared with a 53% increase in men (95% confidence interval 27% to 84%, p <0.0001). In conclusion, low perceived health competence was strongly associated with less physical activity in patients with coronary heart disease and may represent a potential target for behavioral interventions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Report*
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors