, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 203-220

Development and preliminary testing of a brief intervention for modifying CHD-predictive hostility components

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Hostility is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), and certain hostility subscales (e.g., Barefoot's refined Ho) predict CHD and mortality more powerfully than global hostility measures. An intervention for modifying CHD-predictive hostility components was developed and tested. Twenty-two healthy, high-hostile males, who were matched on age and hostility level, were randomly assigned to either an experimental hostility-reduction treatment group or an information-control group. The experimental group received eight 90-min weckly sessions for altering antagonism, cynicism, and anger reactions. After controlling for pretreatment levels, subjects' group status accounted for an additional and significant 28 and 19% of the variance in improvement of observed Anger-Out scores and Barefoot's refined Ho scores, respectively. Thus, this treatment may reduce CHD-predictive and mortality-predictive hostility levels. The possible clinical significance of these results was tested, and future large-scale and long-term trials are recommended.