, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 317-327
Date: 18 Feb 2009

Spontaneous reactions to health risk feedback: a network perspective

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Research on the reception of health risk feedback has focused on the analysis of single, researcher-selected cognitive reactions. The full range of spontaneous reactions and their patterns have received little attention. The present paper explores content, interrelations, and adaptivity of spontaneous reactions to health risk feedback from a network perspective. Participants (n = 423) received blood pressure and cholesterol feedback and listed their thoughts afterwards. A network of reactions to health risk feedback was constructed from the responses. Emotions, risk feedback valence, future lifestyle, and expectedness emerged as strong and largely well-connected network nodes, while previously well-researched reactions like feedback acceptance formed small, less connected nodes. The majority of reaction patterns identified through the network appeared adaptive, even after negative feedback. The network provides a potentially useful tool for research and practice, highlighting previously neglected relevant reactions, and providing a group-level background against which individual reactions can be evaluated.