Social interaction in coronary artery disease

Norman I. Itkowitz (2000)

Forty-nine chronic angina subjects responded to a questionnaire regarding their Coronary Artery Disease symptoms, perceived responses of their significant others (solicitous, negative and distracting responses and support), level of functional impairment, and emotional state. Measures included an angina pain scale, two modified scales from the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory, Chronic Illness Problem Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and New York State Angina Classification. Data from the questionnaires were aggregated to form three dependent variables to measure: Illness Severity, Psychological Distress, and Disability. Hierarchical Regression Analysis was performed predicting the relative contributions of perceived significant-other responses on the dependent variables. Solicitous responding and support were found to significantly predict Illness Severity and Disability and solicitous responding predicted Psychological Distress. This correlation study suggests that symptom relevant social interaction vis-a-vis the patient and significant other may influence levels of illness, disability and affective distress. The results were discussed and understood using a cognitive behavioral framework and a transactional interaction model is proposed. Implications for clinical understanding and future research are discussed.