Background: Despite the fact that social support has been found to be important to cardiovascular health, there is a paucity of information regarding the relationship between social support and outcomes long term after heart transplantation (HT). The purposes of this study were to examine demographic and psychosocial characteristics and their relationship to social support after HT and to identify whether socio-demographic variables are predictors of satisfaction with social support post-HT.
Methods: Data were collected from 555 HT patients (pts) (78% men, 88% white, mean age = 53.8 yr at time of transplant) at four US medical centers using the following instruments: Social Support Index, QOL Index, HT Stressor Scale, Jalowiec Coping Scale, Sickness Impact Profile, Cardiac Depression Scale, and medical records review. Statistical analyses included t-tests, correlations, and linear and multivariate regression.
Results: There were no associations between education and ethnicity and perception of social support at five and 10 yr after HT. Married and older pts reported higher satisfaction with social support after HT. Being married and having higher education were predictors of better overall satisfaction with social support at 10 yr post-heart transplantation.
Conclusions: Knowledge of relationships between socio-demographic factors and social support may assist clinicians to address social support needs and resources long term after HT.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.