Background: Invalidism has been discussed in the cardiovascular literature for decades. Researchers have studied health perceptions, emotional distress, and dependency in patients after acute myocardial infarction in an attempt to understand the phenomenon. However, no theory of the manner in which these variables interact has been proposed.
Objectives: Using previous research, a model of invalidism was specified in which individuals' perceptions that their health is poor lead to emotional distress and increased dependency. As health perceptions improve over time, emotional distress and dependency decrease.
Method: Survey data were collected from 111 men and women 1 and 4 months after a first myocardial infarction and were tested using structural equation modeling.
Results: The model was rejected using a confirmatory approach (chi2(89) = 141.40; p= .00034). The fit indices, however, suggested an adequate fit of the model to the data (CFI = .96; NNFI = .94).
Conclusion: The conclusion is that the model is reasonable and serves as a starting point for a theory-based empirical exploration of the invalidism process.