Cardiovascular Heart Disease, Risk Factors, and North Central Appalachian Experiences

In an extension of research validating the Psychosocial Risk Factor Survey (PRFS), the proposed work examines the use of the PRFS as an effective counseling assessment tool for participants in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program located in North Central Appalachia..

A mixed method design with explanatory focus proved effective in the compilation and analysis of data. The PRFS scores assisted in the determination of behavioral progress through the 12-week cardiovascular rehabilitation program. Specific risk factors measured by the PRFS are: depression, anxiety, anger/hostility, social isolation, and emotional guardedness. Statistically significant differences were found between the pre-and post-assessments overall. Participants with less change in scores continue to have all the specified risk factors present in post -scoring.

The use of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model offers a framework to analyze qualitative archival data. The research used participant files from the program, specifically counseling summaries. Integrating the information given from the scoring with themes that emerge from the archival summaries offers some insight to the patterns that may distinguish progress or regress in participant evaluation. Further discussion centers on gaining insight into psychosocial risk factors within this specific sample, the impact of cardiovascular heart disease on the North Central Appalachian population, and using the PRFS with Appalachian and other rural area client populations.