BACKGROUND: There is growing recognition that positive health beliefs may promote blood pressure (BP) reduction, which is critical to stroke prevention but remains a persistent challenge. Yet, studies that examine the association between positive health beliefs and BP among stroke survivors are lacking. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data came from the DESERVE (Discharge Educational Strategies for Reduction of Vascular Events) study, a randomized controlled trial of a skills-based behavioral intervention to reduce vascular risk in a multiethnic cohort of 552 transient ischemic attack and mild/moderate stroke patients in New York City. The exposure was perception that people can protect themselves from having a stroke (ie, prevention self-efficacy) at baseline. The association between systolic BP (SBP) reduction at 12-month follow-up and self-efficacy was examined using linear regression adjusted for key confounders, overall and stratified by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and intervention trial arm. Approximately three quarters endorsed self-efficacy. These participants had, on average, 5.6 mm Hg greater SBP reduction compared with those who did not endorse it (95% CI, 0.5–10.7 mm Hg; P=0.032). Self-efficacy was significantly associated with greater SBP reduction, particularly among female versus male, younger versus older, and Hispanic versus non-Hispanic white patients. Sensitivity analysis adjusting for baseline SBP instead of elevated BP yielded no association between self-efficacy and SBP reduction, but showed sex differences in this association (women: β=5.3; 95% CI, −0.2 to 10.8; P=0.057; men: β=−3.3; 95% CI, −9.4 to 2.9; P=0.300; interaction P=0.064). CONCLUSIONS: Self-efficacy was linked with greater SBP reduction among female stroke survivors. Targeted strategies to improve health beliefs after stroke may be important for risk factor management.
- Blood pressure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine