Social Support and Prognosis in Patients at Increased Psychosocial Risk Recovering From Myocardial Infarction

Heather S. Lett, James A. Blumenthal, Michael A. Babyak, Diane J. Catellier, Robert M. Carney, Lisa F. Berkman, Matthew M. Burg, Pamela Mitchell, Allan S. Jaffe, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the impact of network support and different types of perceived functional support on all-cause mortality or nonfatal reinfarction for patients with a recent acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Design: Participants were recruited from the Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD) trial; 2,481 AMI patients with depression or low social support were randomized to a cognitive-behavioral intervention or to a usual care control group. Data collection for certain measures of social support was limited: 2,466 participants completed the ENRICHD Social Support Inventory; 2,457 completed the Perceived Social Support Scale; 1,296 completed the Social Network Questionnaire; and 707 completed the Interpersonal Support and Evaluation List, Tangible Support subscale. Patients also completed the Beck Depression Inventory and were followed for up to 4.5 years. Main Outcome Measure: Time to death or nonfatal reinfarction. Results: Over the follow-up period, 599 patients (24%) died or had a nonfatal AMI. Survival models controlling age, sex, race, socioeconomic status, smoking, antidepressant use, and a composite measure of increased risk revealed that higher levels of perceived social support were associated with improved outcome for patients without elevated depression but not for patients with high levels of depression. Neither perceived tangible support nor network support were associated with more frequent adverse events. Conclusion: AMI patients should be assessed for multiple dimensions of perceived functional support and depression to identify those at increased psychosocial risk who may benefit from treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-427
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • depression
  • myocardial infarction
  • prognosis
  • social support


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