• Cardiac Rehabilitation Maintenance and Prevention Exercise Program: Effects on Depression and Body Image

      Madanat, Sara; Applied Health Sciences Program
      In Ontario, individuals who have experienced a cardiac event are prescribed to participate in cardiac rehabilitation. Most research examining the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation has focused on early phases (i.e., phase 1 and 2) and virtually none has looked at phase 3 maintenance programs, nor have they examined prevention-based programs. Therefore, this study looked at characteristics of those attending a cardiac rehabilitation maintenance and prevention exercise program, differences between those that finished 6-months of the program and those who did not, and the effects of the program on body image and depression. Eligible members (n = 111 males, n = 101 females, Mage = 63.3) of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being completed anthropometric tests (height, body mass, heart rate, blood pressure) and self-reported measures of body satisfaction and depression at baseline and after 6 months of participating in the program. At baseline, individuals were identified as being at risk for clinical depression and were slightly dissatisfied with their body function and appearance. Three separate two-way ANCOVAS (for depression, satisfaction with function and satisfaction with appearance) showed that responders reported more favorable psychological profiles than non-responders at baseline, with significantly higher levels of satisfaction with body appearance [F (1, 204) = 5.95, p < .05] and function [F (1, 203) = 8.58, p < .05], albeit no differences in depression scores [F (1, 206) = .78, p > .05]. However, men did report lower satisfaction with their body function than women. A two-way mixed MANCOVA was conducted to examine changes in depression and body satisfaction across the 6-month program; there was no significant overall effect [F (1, 67) = 1.48, p > .05]. Our findings suggest that moderately active men and women may not differ on satisfaction with appearance. Given that those who completed 6-months of the program reported higher satisfaction with appearance and function than those who did not, it may be possible to identify those who are likely to drop out of a cardiac rehabilitation maintenance and prevention exercise program and develop programming to improve body image upon program entry to increase adherence.