happy people

The role of positive psychological constructs in cardiac patients’ health behaviour [Seed Funding]

While studies show that health behavior (e.g. physical activity, healthy nutrition) can significantly improve health outcomes and quality of life, clinical practice shows that this is a challenging endeavor as only a minority of people succeed to reach sustainable health behaviour change. This study will focus on the role of positive psychology constructs (e.g. optimism, positive affect, flexibility) in health behaviour. It is part of the Personalized Prevention and Care theme.

We will examine whether these constructs are related to engagement in healthy behaviors and subsequently to better health outcomes. In addition, we will examine whether there are individual differences and the role of patients’ demographic, medical, and psychological profile.

Our study will be conducted at the department of Cardiology at Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital, Tilburg. Stable cardiac patients will be approached for participation and will be given a Fitbit watch to monitor their physical activity and sleep quality. Other health behaviors will be assessed using self-report diaries.

Current project will support collaboration between the department of Medical and Clinical psychology (MCP) and department of Methodology and Statistics (MTO). Answering our research questions requires advanced statistical methods, such as dynamic structural equation modeling which will be supported by MTO.

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Cross-cutting themes

The Herbert Simon Research Institute for Health, Well-being, and Adaptiveness is a research center devoted to carrying out excellent, state of the art research in order to contribute to healthy and resilient people. We have selected three themes, which involve the collaboration between various Departments  and address actual themes in need of both fundamental and applied research.