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Keywords:

  • coronary heart disease;
  • maladaptive illness beliefs;
  • nursing;
  • randomized controlled trials;
  • systematic review

goulding l., furze g. & birks y. (2010) Randomized controlled trials of interventions to change maladaptive illness beliefs in people with coronary heart disease: systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(5), 946–961.

Abstract

Title. Randomized controlled trials of interventions to change maladaptive illness beliefs in people with coronary heart disease: systematic review.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of interventions to change maladaptive illness beliefs in people with coronary heart disease, and was conducted to determine whether such interventions were effective in changing maladaptive beliefs, and to assess any consequent change in coping and outcome.

Background.  An increasing body of evidence suggests that faulty beliefs can lead to maladaptive behaviours and, in turn, to poor outcomes. However, the effectiveness of interventions to change such faulty illness beliefs in people with coronary heart disease is unknown.

Data sources.  Multiple data bases were searched using a systematic search strategy. In addition, reference lists of included papers were checked and key authors in the field contacted.

Review methods.  The systematic review included randomized controlled trials with adults of any age with a diagnosis of coronary heart disease and an intervention aimed at changing cardiac beliefs. The primary outcome measured was change in beliefs about coronary heart disease.

Results.  Thirteen trials met the inclusion criteria. Owing to the heterogeneity of these studies, quantitative synthesis was not practicable. Descriptive synthesis of the results suggested that cognitive behavioural and counselling/education interventions can be effective in changing beliefs. The effects of changing beliefs on behavioural, functional and psychological outcomes remain unclear.

Conclusion.  While some interventions may be effective in changing beliefs in people with coronary heart disease, the effect of these changes on outcome is not clear. Further high quality research is required before firmer guidance can be given to clinicians on the most effective method to dispel cardiac misconceptions.