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Barriers to cardiovascular disease preventive behaviors among OEF/OIF/OND women and men veterans.

Cavanagh CE, Rosman L, Chui PW, Bastian L, Brandt C, Haskell S, Burg MM. Barriers to cardiovascular disease preventive behaviors among OEF/OIF/OND women and men veterans. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association. 2020 Apr 1; 39(4):298-306.

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OBJECTIVE: OEF/OIF/OND Veterans have an elevated risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), but research suggests that engagement in CVD preventive behaviors is low even among at-risk individuals. It is critical to understand barriers to prevention engagement among Veterans to inform the development of tailored interventions addressing barriers and reducing CVD incidence. METHOD: The Women Veterans Cohort Study survey of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans (586 women and 555 men) assessed patient, interpersonal, and systems level barriers to CVD risk prevention. Prevalence of barriers was determined, and chi-squares were conducted to examine sex differences. Multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to determine if sex differences remained when adjusting for demographic factors (age, marital status, education, employment status). RESULTS: Despite a low response rate (11.5%), endorsement of barriers was high for both women and men, with most (56.8%) not perceiving themselves to be at CVD risk. More men preferred making no lifestyle change (40.9% vs. 29.1%). More women endorsed lack of confidence (42.4% vs. 36.1%), stress (36.9% vs. 27.8%) and depression (36.9% vs. 27.8%), and inadequate social support (26% vs. 20.9%), along with the belief that their clinician does not perceive them as at risk (57.8% vs. 32%) and has not explained CVD preventive behaviors (19% vs. 12.3%). Multivariate analyses reduced statistical significance of sex differences. CONCLUSIONS: Given the low response rate, testing of efforts-for example, implementation science methods-to assess CVD risk reduction barriers in this population are needed, a task for which the Veterans Health Administration is well suited. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

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