Wellness motivation in cardiac rehabilitation: The role of self-knowledge in cardiovascular risk modification


  • Julie Fleury,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Community Health, College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
    • Arizona State University, 500 North 3rd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004.
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    • Hanner Professor.

  • Constantine Sedikides

    1. School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, England
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    • Professor.

  • The authors thank cardiac rehabilitation center participants, administrators, and staff for their contributions.


Understanding the factors that motivate behavioral change is central to health promotion efforts. We used qualitative descriptive methods in an effort to understand the role of self-knowledge in the process of risk factor modification. The sample consisted of 17 men and 7 women with diagnosed coronary heart disease, who were attempting to initiate and sustain programs of cardiovascular risk modification. Participants described self-knowledge in terms of three contextually situated patterns: representational, evaluative, and behavioral action. Results reinforce the motivational role of the self and highlight the importance of understanding dimensions of self-knowledge relevant to cardiovascular risk reduction. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 30:373–384, 2007.