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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 973549, 7 pages
Research Article

How Important Are Social Support, Expectations and Coping Patterns during Cardiac Rehabilitation

1Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Research Group of General Practice, University of Bergen, Kalfarveien 31, 5018 Bergen, Norway
2Centre for Clinical Research, Haukeland University Hospital, Armauer Hansen’s House, Bergen, Norway
3Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, Research Group of Lifestyle Epidemiology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

Received 30 May 2014; Revised 20 August 2014; Accepted 27 August 2014; Published 15 September 2014

Academic Editor: Francesco Giallauria

Copyright © 2014 Maria J. C. Blikman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To investigate the predictive role of relevant social and psychosocial determinants on emotional distress among patients after cardiac rehabilitation. Methods. A longitudinal prospective study examined short-term (6 months) and long-term (2 years) impact of predictors on anxiety and depression complaints in 183 patients with 6-months follow-up data attending a four-week rehabilitation stay at the Krokeide Centre in Bergen, Norway. The patients mainly suffered from coronary heart disease. Emotional distress, coping, social support, socioeconomic status, and negative expectations were measured by means of internationally validated questionnaires. A composite score of anxiety and depression complaints was used as the outcome measure in the study. Results. This study revealed that task-oriented coping improved emotional status in long-term followup, and negative expectations were associated with emotional distress in short-term followup. A higher socioeconomic status and more social support predicted improved emotional status in short- as well as long-term followup. Conclusions. Fewer negative expectations and functional coping along with social support are important factors for the prevention of emotional distress after cardiac disease. Such elements should be addressed and encouraged in patients during cardiac rehabilitation.