The Coronary Health Improvement Projects Impact on Lowering Eating, Sleep, Stress, and Depressive Disorders

Authors: Merrill, Ray M.; Aldana, Stephen G.; Greenlaw, Roger L.; Diehl, Hans A.

Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 November 2008, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 337-344(8)


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Background: The Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) is designed to lower cardiovascular risk factors among a group of generally healthy individuals through health education. Purpose: This study will evaluate the efficacy of the CHIP intervention at improving eating, sleep, stress, and depressive disorders. Methods: A health education randomized experimental study was used, with 348 participants, ages 24 to 81 years, from metropolitan Rockford, Illinois. Results: Higher Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores at baseline were significantly associated with being overweight, being physically inactive, eating little or no breakfast, eating fast, sleeping less than six hours per night, restless sleep, insomnia, very few vacations, feeling under pressure, being easily emotionally upset, feeling muscular tension, and feeling fearful or depressed. Each of these items showed a significantly greater improvement through six weeks and six months among those in the intervention group compared with the control group. BDI scores through six weeks and six months of follow-up were also significantly lower among those in the intervention group compared with the control group. Discussion: Selected eating and sleep practices were associated with depression. Eating little or no breakfast has been associated with health-compromising behaviors that may increase stress and depression. The health education intervention designed to reduce cardiovascular risk improved eating and sleep practices and reduced stress and depression. Translation to Health Education Practice: Lifestyle change programs such as CHIP aimed at improving physical health behaviors can likewise have a profound influence on mental health.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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