Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 1585–1599 | Cite as

Relationship of Illness Severity with Health and Life Satisfaction in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: The Mediating Role of Self-efficacy Beliefs and Illness Perceptions

  • P. StecaEmail author
  • A. Greco
  • M. D’Addario
  • D. Monzani
  • R. Pozzi
  • A. Villani
  • V. Rella
  • A. Giglio
  • G. Malfatto
  • G. Parati
Research Paper


Guidelines for cardiovascular rehabilitation from different countries underline the importance of psychological factors in the achievement of improved clinical conditions and quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Nevertheless, little research has been performed to identify the specific factors that greatly affect or foster patients’ quality of life. The aim of the current study was to investigate the contribution of illness perceptions (IP) and self-efficacy beliefs (SE) on the impact exerted by illness severity on health and life satisfaction in patients with CVD undergoing a rehabilitation program. The study had a cross-sectional design and involved 116 patients (mean age = 65.6 years; SD = 10.0 years; 79.3 % men). Illness severity was measured in terms of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at the discharge from the cardiology department, whereas psychological factors were assessed one week later. The results showed no relationships among LVEF and the two indicators of health and life satisfaction; moreover, these two variables are differently influenced by IP and cardiac risk factors SE (χ2(1) = 0.96, p = n.s.). Findings provide important suggestions for the implementation of interventions aimed at bettering patients’ quality of life, underlying the importance of working on IP and SE to improve levels of health and life satisfaction in patients with CVD.


Life satisfaction Health satisfaction Cardiovascular disease severity Self-efficacy beliefs Illness perceptions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Steca
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Greco
    • 1
  • M. D’Addario
    • 1
  • D. Monzani
    • 1
  • R. Pozzi
    • 2
  • A. Villani
    • 3
  • V. Rella
    • 3
  • A. Giglio
    • 3
  • G. Malfatto
    • 3
  • G. Parati
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Milan “Bicocca”MilanItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Cardiology, S. Luca HospitalIstituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Medicine and PreventionUniversity of Milan “Bicocca”MilanItaly

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