Objective: This study examined whether social network size and partner stress predicted medication adherence, cardiac rehabilitation attendance, and quality of life 12 months following hospitalization for an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Design: ACS patients (N = 193, M age = 60.6 years, SD = 11.4 years, 23% female) were recruited shortly following admission to 4 local hospitals. A prospective design was employed with follow-up data collected 12 months following hospital admission.
Main outcome measures: Data were gathered on social network size and partner stress. The main outcomes assessed at 12 months were medication adherence, cardiac rehabilitation attendance, and quality of life (Short Form 36).
Results: Partner stress predicted medication nonadherence, odds ratio: 2.89, (95% CI = 1.21, 6.95). ACS patients with large social networks were more likely to attend rehabilitation, odds ratio: 3.42, (95% CI = 1.42, 8.25). Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, clinical risk scores, readmission/recurrence, and negative affectivity. Both partner stress and smaller social network size were associated with poorer quality of life.
Conclusion: Social network size and partner stress may partly exert their influence on coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality through recovery behaviors and maintenance of quality of life.