This repeated-measures study explores how self-efficacy and overprotection relate to psychological well-being, health-related quality of life and self-management. Eighty-two cardiac patients, suffering from congestive heart failure (CHF) or myocardial infarction (MI), completed questionnaires at T1 and three months later. Perceived overprotection is associated with concurrent levels of anxiety and depression, and lowered quality of life. Self-efficacy is related to psychological well-being in both patient groups, but only associated with quality of life in CHF patients. In addition, self-efficacy predicts MI patients' self-management behaviours in the medium term. Findings have implications for cardiac rehabilitation, where attention may usefully be focused on enhancing self-efficacy and dealing with issues of support and overprotection by the partner.