Depressive symptoms in couples living with heart failure: the role of congruent engagement in heart failure management

Karen Lyons, Shirin O. Hiatt, Jill Gelow, Jonathan Auld, James Mudd, Christopher Chien, Christopher Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The life-threatening context of heart failure (HF), high variability of the illness and complexity of care place considerable demands on both the adult patient and his/her spouse. The current study examines the role of congruent engagement in HF management behaviors on the depressive symptoms of the couple living with HF. Method: A cross-sectional design was used to examine 60 couples living with HF. Multilevel modeling was used to examine partner and within-dyad effects of engagement in HF behaviors on depressive symptoms. Results: Just over one quarter (27%) of couples had both members experiencing at least mild depressive symptoms. Controlling for stage of HF and one's own level of engagement, one's partner's level of engagement was significantly associated with one's level of depressive symptoms; higher levels of engagement by one's partner were associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms. Additionally, spouses had lower levels of depressive symptoms when they had similar levels of engagement to their partner with HF; spouses had higher levels of depressive symptoms when they had higher levels of engagement than their partner with HF. Conclusion: Findings confirm the importance of screening both members of the couple for depression and fostering collaboration within the couple.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAging and Mental Health
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 1 2017



  • congruence
  • consulting behaviors
  • dyadic coping
  • management behaviors
  • Self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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