Introduction: Healthy lifestyle as one of the most important measures to achieve health and wellbeing, is influenced by various factors, among which, having access to variety of health- related capitals, especially “health- related cultural capital” is particularly important. “Health-related cultural capital” refers to all culture-based resources that are available to people in order to employ in favor of their health. These recourses have a determining role in preventing and fighting chronic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the effects of health-related cultural capital and its various aspects on healthy lifestyle among coronary artery patients .
Method: A cross sectional survey study was applied.. The statistical population included individuals suffering from coronary artery diseases, aged over 50 years who were referred to Shahid Rajaie Cardiovascular, Medical and Research Center for treatment from January to June 2015. Using convenience sampling, 412 patients in 4 different wards (i.e. men internal ward, women internal ward, Diplomat and VIP) participated in this study. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to collect data. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed by content validity and its reliability was assessed by the Cronbach's Alpha test which was equal to 0.914 for the variable “healthy lifestyle” and 0.862 for the variable “health-related cultural capital”. Data reduction was carried out via exploratory factor analysis. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software applying appropriate statistical tests such as the Independent Sample t Test, the Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient and Path Analysis.
Findings: The descriptive findings showed that based on the total lifestyle scale, the healthy lifestyle status of the patients, before being afflicted by the disease, was lower than average.. Among various aspects of lifestyle, aspect of “Abstinence from tobacco and alcohol” was in the “desirable” state. However, aspect of “exercise and physical activity” was in the “undesirable” state. All other aspects were in the “average” state . The results of the Independent Sample t Test showed that there were statistically significant differences in the mean scores of the variables “Objective Health-related Cultural Capital” and “Institutional Health-related Cultural Capital” in terms of gender. That is, the mean scores of men were higher than the mean scores of women. Nonetheless, there was no statistically significant difference between men and women with regard to the variable “Incorporated Health-related Cultural Capital”. The results of the Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated that there was a positive and significant statistical relationship between health-related aspects of cultural capital and aspects of healthy lifestyle. Moreover, the results of the path analysis showed that 0.624 percent of the lifestyle changes can be explained by changes in three aspects of health-related cultural capital. Finally, among the three aspects of health-related cultural capital, the aspect of “incorporated health-related cultural capital” , withthe highest coefficient (0.460), was the most important predictor of the healthy lifestyle.
Discussion: Cultural Resources are one of the most important factors determining the actions of individuals and it is also a basic prerequisite for the behavioral orientation of agents in structural environments. These resources, through the process of socialization, create behavior and tastes of people in various socio-economic status and from different generation. That is, the appropriate lifestyles will be created for that social class or generation. Promoting health-related cultural resources (such as knowledge, skills, values, norms, equipment and health promoting facilities , etc.) are considered the key elements in the production and reproduction of healthy lifestyles. Consequently, it leads to a reduction in socio-cultural inequalities in health domain in a way that prevention and fight against chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) will be provided for most actors in different (individual and collective) levels.