Health beliefs and desire to improve cholesterol levels among patients with hyperlipidemia.



Because hyperlipidemia is asymptomatic, many veterans affairs (VA) patients may not perceive it seriously. We assessed key Health Belief model concepts to describe patients' cholesterol-related health beliefs and examine associations between patient-level factors and desire to improve cholesterol control.


We used baseline data from an ongoing randomized clinical trial. Eligible patients were receiving care at the Durham VA and had CVD risk-total cholesterol levels >130 mg/dL and/or <80% medication adherence in the previous 12 months. A survey assessed patients' health beliefs about high cholesterol and self-reported medication adherence. Multivariable logistic regression examined whether there was an association between desire to control cholesterol and cholesterol status.


Approximately 64% (n=155) of patients perceived high cholesterol as 'very serious'. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, patients who perceived high cholesterol as 'very serious' (OR 2. 26, p=0.032) and/or with high self-efficacy (OR 4.70, p<0.001) had increased odds of desiring cholesterol control.


The factors most significantly associated with desire to improve cholesterol control were perceiving hyperlipidemia as 'very serious and self-efficacy for cholesterol control.

Practice implication

Educating patients, with the goal of appropriately increasing their perceived risk of disease, is likely necessary to impact cholesterol control.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Zullig, Leah L, Linda L Sanders, Steven Thomas, Jamie N Brown, Susanne Danus, Felicia McCant and Hayden B Bosworth (2016). Health beliefs and desire to improve cholesterol levels among patients with hyperlipidemia. Patient education and counseling, 99(5). pp. 830–835. 10.1016/j.pec.2015.11.025 Retrieved from

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