Socio-demographic factors, behaviour and personality: associations with psychological distress

McKenzie, Suzanne Helen, Jayasinghe, Upali W., Fanaian, Mahnaz, Passey, Megan, Lyle, David, Davies, Gawaine Powell, and Harris, Mark Ford (2012) Socio-demographic factors, behaviour and personality: associations with psychological distress. European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, 19 (2). pp. 250-257.

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Background: Anxiety, psychological distress and personality may not be independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease; however they may contribute via their relationship with unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. This study aimed to examine the association between psychological distress, risk behaviours and patient demographic characteristics in a sample of general practice patients aged 40–65 years with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Design: Cross-sectional analytic study.

Methods: Patients, randomly selected from general practice records, completed a questionnaire about their behavioural risk factors and psychological health as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial of a general practice based intervention to prevent chronic vascular disease. The Kessler Psychological Distress Score (K10) was the main outcome measure for the multilevel, multivariate analysis.

Results: Single-level bi-variate analysis demonstrated a significant association between higher K10 and middle age (p = 0.001), high neuroticism (p = 0), current smoking (p = 0), physical inactivity (p = 0.003) and low fruit and vegetable consumption (p = 0.008). Socioeconomic (SES) indicators of deprivation (employment and accommodation status) were also significantly associated with higher K10 (p = 0). No individual behavioural risk factor was associated with K10 on multilevel multivariate analysis; however indicators of low SES remained significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: When all factors were considered, psychological distress was not associated with behavioural risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Other underlying factors, such as personality type and socioeconomic status, may be associated with both the behaviours and the distress.

Item ID: 16152
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2047-4881
Keywords: lifestyle, behaviour, distress, neuroticism
Funders: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2011 04:29
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1102 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology > 110299 Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases @ 50%
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