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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335069

Title: The role of family in a dietary risk reduction intervention for cardiovascular disease

item SCHUMACHER, TRACY - University Of Newcastle
item BURROWS, TRACY - University Of Newcastle
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe
item CALLISTER, ROBIN - University Of Newcastle
item SPRATT, NEIL - University Of Newcastle
item COLLINS, CLARE - University Of Newcastle

Submitted to: Healthcare
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2016
Publication Date: 9/30/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Schumacher, T.L., Burrows, T.L., Thompson, D.J., Callister, R., Spratt, N.J., Collins, C.E. 2016. The role of family in a dietary risk reduction intervention for cardiovascular disease. Healthcare. 4(4):74.

Interpretive Summary: Diet is an important part of preventing heart disease. Understanding how families at risk think about their personal risk, reasons to eat healthy, role of diet, and how others in their family influence these thoughts and ultimate choices is important. Interviews were conducted with 8 families (17 people) who completed a family-based program to reduce risk of developing heart disease. The interviews revealed that people were motivated by both internal and external reasons and that their views of risk varied. There were also variations in thoughts regarding the role diet played in reducing heart disease risk, and the role family members played in desire to change dietary habits. This information can offer insight into how to design more effective programs to reduce heart disease risk.

Technical Abstract: Diet is an essential strategy for the prevention of primary and secondary cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. The objectives were to examine: how families at increased risk of CVD perceived personal risk, their motivations to make dietary changes, their understanding of diet, and the influence of other family members. Individuals (>18 years) who completed an Australian family-based CVD risk reduction program were invited to a semi-structured telephone interview. Responses were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a systematic deductive approach with coding derived from key concepts developed as part of the interview structure. Seventeen participants from eight families were interviewed (aged 18-70 years, 47% male, five with CVD diagnosis). Key themes indicated both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to improve heart health, variations in risk perception, recognition of the role diet plays in heart health, and the extent of family influences on eating patterns. Discrepancies between perceived and actual CVD risk perception impacted on perceived "need" to modify current dietary patterns towards heart health recommendations. Therefore, strategies not reliant on risk perception are needed to engage those with low risk perception. This could involve identifying and accessing the family "ringleader" to influence involvement and capitalising on personal accountability to other family members.