In Sickness and in Health: a Literature Review about Function of Social
Support within Anxiety and Heart Disease Association
Cristina Zarbo 1, *, Angelo Compare 1, Elena Baldassari 1, Alberto Bonardi 1, Claudia Romagnoni 2
1 Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy
2 Cardiovascular Division, "L. Sacco" University General Hospital, University of Milan, Milano, Italy
A narrative review of the major evidence concerning the relationship between anxiety, social support and cardiac
disease was conducted. Literature demonstrates that a strict relationship between anxiety, social support and cardiac
disease outcomes subsists. However, the function of social support within anxiety and heart disease association remains
unclear and needs to further researches to be established. Moreover evidence suggests that it’s the quality of close relationships
to play an important role in affecting psychological and physiological health status. The main components that
the literature suggests for a better quality of social support and close relationship, and the main assessment measure are
presented. Evidence about cardiac rehabilitation programs and the need to assess and intervene on psychological and psychosocial
factors is discussed.
Keywords: Anxiety, social support, quality of relationship, cardiac disease, psychocardiology.
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Human and
Social Sciences, University of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy, S. Agostino
Square, 2; Tel: +39 3283616304; Fax: +39 0352052916;