Causal beliefs and behaviour change post-myocardial infarction: How are they related?

D.P. French, D. James, R. Horne, J. Weinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Weinman, Petrie, Sharpe, and Walker (2000) showed that the causal attributions of a sample of first-time myocardial infarction (MI) patients and their spouses from Auckland, New Zealand, were associated with changes in health-related behaviour over the first 6 months post-MI. However, their analyses did not control for pre-MI health-related behaviour. Method. This paper reports a re-analyses of the Auckland data, and a replication study conducted with 155 first-time MI patients in Brighton, United Kingdom (UK), to investigate whether baseline attributions for MI were related to health-related behaviour change at 6 months (N=132). Spouses (N=85) also completed the attribution questionnaire at baseline. Results. There was no consistent relationship between the causal attributions of patients and subsequent behaviour change in Auckland and Brighton. For both samples, causal attributions were associated with pre-MI behaviour. Conclusions. The data from both samples suggest that the causal attributions of MI patients and their spouses may be realistic, but not predictive of subsequent changes in behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-182
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


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