Analysis of the vital exhaustion construct in a female population during cardiac rehabilitation
AbstractBackground: Vital Exhaustion (VE) is a psychological construct that has been shown to be predictive for cardiac morbidity and mortality. There are not sufficient data which clarify whether the female population express this construct differentely comparing to males. This study aims to analyze the construct of Vital Exhaustion in a population of women admitted to a cardiac rehabilitation program. Material and Method: The selected sample consisted of 854 women with an average age of 58 years (SD Â± 10.2). All patients were at their first hospitalization for a cardiac rehabilitation program. The tool used to analyze the construct of Vital Exhaustion was the B scale of the Cognitive Behavioural Assessment Hospital form (CBA-H). The study also analyzed the answers to the D scale of the CBA-H concerning aspects of lifestyle and behavioral habits. Results: The percentage of women with considerable value of Vital Exhaustion was very high (67.7%). Moreover, the group of women with higher Vital Exhaustion showed more dysfunctional habits (smoking, poor physical activity, incorrect diet) and more referred psychological problems as well as job and/or family distress and insomnia. 207 women (24.2%) of the sample belonged to economically active population; 136 (69%) of these women presented a high value of VE and 61 (31%) a low one. Among the employed women, 24% of the group with high VE value reported to be unsatisfied, while the same condition lowered at 9.6% in the group with low VE value (p=.004); moreover, 41.7% versus 18.5% (p=.000) described their working life as a source of tension. Conclusions: Considering a sample of female cardiac patients, this study shows that the construct of Vital Exhaustion is particularly present. It also appears that the construct of Vital Exhaustion can be interpreted as an indicator of lifestyle problems in women, helping health-professionals in selecting efficient educational and/or psychological interventions.
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