International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 221–229 | Cite as

Predicting Depression from Illness Severity in Cardiovascular Disease Patients: Self-efficacy Beliefs, Illness Perception, and Perceived Social Support as Mediators

  • A. Greco
  • P. Steca
  • R. Pozzi
  • D. Monzani
  • M. D’Addario
  • A. Villani
  • V. Rella
  • A. Giglio
  • G. Malfatto
  • G. Parati



Many studies have investigated the relationships between cardiovascular diseases and patients’ depression; nevertheless, few is still known as regard the impact of illness severity on depression and whether psychosocial variables mediate this association.


The aim of this study is to investigate the putative mediating role of illness representations, self-efficacy beliefs, and perceived social support on the relationship between illness severity and depression.


A total of 75 consecutive patients with cardiovascular disease (80 % men; mean age = 65.44, SD = 10.20) were enrolled in an Italian hospital. Illness severity was measured in terms of left ventricular ejection fraction, whereas psychological factors were assessed using self-report questionnaires.


The relationship between left ventricular ejection fraction and depression was mediated by identity illness perception, self-efficacy beliefs in managing cardiac risk factors, and perceived social support.


The treatment of depression in cardiovascular disease patients may therefore benefit from a psychological intervention focused on patients’ illness representations, self-efficacy beliefs, and their perceived social support.


Depression Cardiovascular disease severity Self-efficacy beliefs Illness perception Perceived social support 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Greco
    • 1
  • P. Steca
    • 1
  • R. Pozzi
    • 2
  • D. Monzani
    • 1
  • M. D’Addario
    • 1
  • 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 CardiologyS.Luca Hospital, Istituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Medicine and PreventionUniversity of Milan “Bicocca”MilanItaly

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