“Cardiotoxic” and “cardioprotective” partner support for patient activation and distress: Are two better than one?

Anna Marta Maria Bertoni, Giada Rapelli, Miriam Parise, Ariela F. Pagani, Silvia Donato

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Objective: The study aimed to test whether the presence of a partner was always beneficial to people with cardiac disease and how different types of partner behaviors promoted or hindered their activation and distress.Background: Cardiac disease challenges not only patients but also their partners, whose support is not always effective. Method: A cross-sectional dyadic research design, in which both partners completed a self-report questionnaire during hospitalization, was adopted. The associations between partner support and patient outcomes were tested using stepwise regression analysis. Results: The mere presence of a partner was not associated with distress or activation of a person with cardiac illness. On the contrary, the quality of partner support is differently linked with outcomes of person with cardiac illness; in particular, partner support for activation is significantly associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and somatization of person with cardiac disease, whereas overprotection is significantly associated with lower levels of activation. Conclusion: Partner support may be a double-edged sword:Partners may be a powerful ally in illness management but also a barrier to it when partner support is ineffective. Implications: This study highlights the importance of integrating partners in cardiac recovery programs and provides suggestions for the design of couple-based interventions.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-16
Numero di pagine16
RivistaFamily Relations
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • cardiac disease
  • couple relationship
  • distress
  • partner support
  • patient engagement
  • patientactivation


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