In Sickness and in Health: a Literature Review about Function of Social Support within Anxiety and Heart Disease Association



Cristina Zarbo 1, *, Angelo Compare 1, Elena Baldassari 1, Alberto Bonardi 1, Claudia Romagnoni 2
1 Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy
2 Cardiovascular Division, "L. Sacco" University General Hospital, University of Milan, Milano, Italy


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© Zarbo et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy, S. Agostino Square, 2; Tel: +39 3283616304; Fax: +39 0352052916; E-mail: cristinazarbo@gmail.com


Abstract

A narrative review of the major evidence concerning the relationship between anxiety, social support and cardiac disease was conducted. Literature demonstrates that a strict relationship between anxiety, social support and cardiac disease outcomes subsists. However, the function of social support within anxiety and heart disease association remains unclear and needs to further researches to be established. Moreover evidence suggests that it’s the quality of close relationships to play an important role in affecting psychological and physiological health status. The main components that the literature suggests for a better quality of social support and close relationship, and the main assessment measure are presented. Evidence about cardiac rehabilitation programs and the need to assess and intervene on psychological and psychosocial factors is discussed.

Keywords: Anxiety, social support, quality of relationship, cardiac disease, psychocardiology.