Depression in Women with Heart Disease: The Importance of Social Role Performance and Spirituality

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Compared with men, women are more likely to experience depression, and depression increases risk of morbidity and mortality in individuals with heart disease. Psychosocial interventions have been developed for depressed patients with heart disease; however, women's experience of chronic disease differs from men's and women may benefit from interventions tailored to address their difficulties. Spirituality and social roles have been related to depressive symptoms in other populations. To identify the relationship between depression and spirituality and social role performance (i.e., role concerns, role rewards and confidence in ability to fulfill roles) in women with heart disease, we assessed depressive symptoms, spirituality, social role functioning and medical history in 125 women with heart disease. After controlling for age and severity of medical conditions, spirituality, role confidence and role concerns were significantly associated with depressive symptoms. Consideration of spirituality and aspects of social role performance may be important when developing psychosocial interventions for depressed women with heart disease.

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