Modification of physical activity 5 months after myocardial infarction: Relevance of biographic and personality characteristics

  • Irma P. A. M. Huijbrechts
  • Rudolph A. M. Erdman
  • Hugo J. Duivenvoorden
  • Jaap W. Deckers
  • Ineke C. M. Leenders
  • Gheorghe A. M. Pop
  • Jan Passchier


The relation between modification of physical activity, a risk factor for coronary heart disease, and personality characteristics was assessed in 166 survivors of a first myocardial infarction (MI). Physical activity was assessed before Ml in retrospect, and again 5 months after MI. Patients were divided into 3 categories according to their current daily-life physical activities: less active than before Ml (n = 24). equally active as before Ml (n = 82), or more active than before Ml (n = 60). A significant differentiation was found between patients who became less physically active than before Ml and the other 2 categories. This less active category was characterized by feelings of disability, a low level of vigor, and feelings of anxiety. In addition, this patient group was on average older and more often female. The results were adjusted for participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program. Finally, the discussion recommends involving psychological intervention in the exercise program for the less active category of patients to diminish feelings of anxiety and disability and to improve vigor.

Key words

myocardial infarction personality characteristics physical activity 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irma P. A. M. Huijbrechts
    • 1
  • Rudolph A. M. Erdman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hugo J. Duivenvoorden
    • 1
  • Jaap W. Deckers
    • 4
  • Ineke C. M. Leenders
    • 5
  • Gheorghe A. M. Pop
    • 6
  • Jan Passchier
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Medical Psychology and PsychotherapyErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Psychology and PsychotherapyErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Cardiology DepartmentUniversity Hospital DijkzigtRotterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Cudiolngy DepartmentUniversity Hospital DijkzigtRotterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Cardiology DepartmentHavenziekenhuisRotterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Cardiology DepartmentHoly-ziekenhuisVlaardingenThe Netherlands

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