The role of symptom appraisal, concealment and social support in optimizing dyadic mental health in heart failure

Karen S. Lyons, Stacy Hutton Johnson, Christopher S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Heart failure patients and their family care partners experience poor mental health, yet the majority of the research focuses on patients and care partners separately. Guided by the Theory of Dyadic Illness Management, the purpose of the current study was to identify distinct patterns of dyadic mental health in heart failure and identify the individual, dyadic and familial factors associated with group membership. Method: Fifty nine heart failure community-dwelling patients and their spouse care partners were recruited from an outpatient heart failure clinic. Mental health was operationalized by depressive symptoms, measured with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) measure of depression. Distinct groups of dyadic mental health were determined by categorizing depression scores within dyads. Results: Three groups of dyadic mental health were identified: an optimal dyadic mental health group (31%), a poor dyadic mental health group (32%) and an incongruent dyadic mental health group (37%). Patient age, patient fatigue, patient concealment, incongruent dyadic appraisal of pain interference and social/familial support were significantly associated with group membership. Conclusion: Findings underscore the salience of a dyadic approach to health and the clinical relevance of identifying patterns of dyadic mental health so we may determine those most in need of intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAging and Mental Health
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • caregivers
  • congruence
  • depressive symptoms
  • Dyadic health
  • shared appraisal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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