Marital satisfaction and depression among couples following men's acute coronary syndrome: Testing dyadic dynamics in a longitudinal design

Rachel Dekel*, Noa Vilchinsky, Gabriel Liberman, Morton Leibowitz, Abed Khaskia, Morris Mosseri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives The current study examined the contribution of marital satisfaction to symptoms of depression among patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and their partners. Method The sample comprised of 91 ACS male patients and their female partners. Data were collected at the time of initial hospitalization and 6 months later. Patients' and partners' assessments of marital satisfaction were measured using the ENRICH scale. Symptoms of depression were measured using the Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI). Dyadic analysis applying the Actor-Partner Inter-dependence Model (APIM) was used. Results Different patterns emerged for the two phases. In the acute phase, only the Actor effect was significant: for both patients and partners, one's greater marital satisfaction was associated with one's lower levels of depression. In the chronic phase, both Actor and Partner effects were significant, while different trends were found for patients and partners. Partners' marital satisfaction was associated with their own and the patients' decreased depression symptoms, whereas among patients, higher levels of marital satisfaction were associated with elevated levels of depression both for themselves and for their partners. Conclusions A dyadic perspective and phases of illness have to be taken into account in understanding adjustment and developing interventions following ACS. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? The contribution of marital satisfaction to psychological adjustment following cardiac illness has been explored, but mainly from the perspective of one partner only. Different phases of an illness present different challenges for both patients and family members. What does this study add? A dyadic perspective on recovery from cardiac illness. The partner's contribution during the different phases of the illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-362
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

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