Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 45–63

Emotional support as a moderator of adjustment and compliance after coronary artery bypass surgery: A longitudinal study

  • James A. Kulik
  • Heike I. M. Mahler

DOI: 10.1007/BF00844754

Cite this article as:
Kulik, J.A. & Mahler, H.I.M. J Behav Med (1993) 16: 45. doi:10.1007/BF00844754


The independent relationships of emotional support and marital status with posthospital adjustments following coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) were examined longitudinally with an intake sample of 85 male patients. Follow-ups occurred at 1, 4, and 13 months after hospital release. Demographic characteristics (age, education) and cardiac status at the time of surgery (wall motion abnormalities) were controlled statistically. As anticipated, married patients were higher in emotional support throughout the follow-up period than were their unmarried counterparts, and both groups reported decreased support with time. Of more interest, higher support was significantly and independently predictive of better emotional status (lower anxiety, depression), perceived quality of life, and compliance with recommended behaviors (ambulating and not smoking). Support did not predict cardiac health (angina episodes, doctor visits for cardiac problems) during follow-up, however. There was no evidence that marital status, independent of emotional support, was related significantly to outcomes.

Key words

emotional supportmarital statuscoronary artery bypass surgery (CABS)adjustmentcompliancequality of life

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Kulik
    • 1
  • Heike I. M. Mahler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, 0109University of CaliforniaSan Diego, La Jolla
  2. 2.California State UniversitySan Marcos