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Perceived Social Support and Markers of Heart Failure Severity

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Introduction. Heart failure is a symptomatic condition that occurs when the heart isunable to pump enough blood and oxygen to adequately supply other organs in the body CDC, 2010. Although commonly associated with demographic and medical risk factors, psychosocial variables such as social support and depression have also been shown to influence the development and progression of heart failure Everson-Rose and Lewis,2005 MacMahon and Lip, 2002. The present study examined the relationship between various components of functional social support as assessed by the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List ISEL-12 including tangible, appraisal, and belonging resources and three recognized markers of heart failure severity i.e., functional status as measuredby distance walked on the Six Minute Walk Test 6MWT, self-reported symptoms asindicated by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire KCCQ, and levels of the biomarker BNP. Methods. Ninety-seven heart failure patients completed psychosocial and physical health related questionnaires, participated in functional assessments, and supplied a blood sample. Results. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that, independent of recognized predictors such as age, body mass index, gender, marital status, smoking status, and depression, greater appraisal support as measured by the ISEL Appraisal Subscale significantly predicted greater distance walked on the 6MWT .24, p .03, explaining 5 percent of the variance R2 .05, F 1, 78 4.85, p .01 and fewer reported symptoms on the KCCQ Overall Summary Score .19,p .02, accounting for 3 percent of the variance R2 .03, F 1, 88 5.29, p .02. Conclusions. These findings suggest that appraisal support may be an important function of social support associated with heart failure severity, potentially working through behavioral, biological, and psychological processes to reduce the impactof disease morbidity.

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