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caregiver, depression, dyads, elderly, family, health, heart failure, perceived control, quality of life



  1. Stromberg, Anna PhD, RN, FESC, FAHA, FAAN
  2. Liljeroos, Maria PhD, RN
  3. Agren, Susanna PhD, RN
  4. Arestedt, Kristofer PhD, RN
  5. Chung, Misook L. PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN


Background: High levels of perceived control and lower levels of depressive symptoms are associated with better well-being in both patients with heart failure and their spouses at an individual level. However, there is a knowledge gap about how these individual factors have reciprocal influences on partners' well-being within the patient-spouse dyads.


Objective: The aims of this study were to examine dyads of patients with heart failure and their spouses on whether the patients' perceived control over the management of heart failure and depressive symptoms predicts their own and their spouses' physical and emotional well-being and to examine whether patients' perceived control predicts their own and their spouses' depressive symptoms.


Methods: A total 155 patient-spouse dyads (patients: 75% male, mean age of 71 years, 53% classified as New York Heart Association III; spouses: 75% female, mean age of 69 years) were recruited from 2 hospital-based outpatient heart failure clinics. Participants completed the Control Attitude Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Short-Form 36. Dyadic data were analyzed using multilevel regression of the actor-partner interdependence model.


Results: Perceived control had an actor effect on emotional well-being only for patients, and there were partner effects of perceived control on emotional well-being for both patients and their spouses. Depressive symptoms exhibited an actor effect on physical and emotional well-being for patients and spouses, but there were no partner effects of depressive symptoms on emotional well-being. Perceived control had partner effects on depressive symptoms for patients and spouses, but an actor effect of depressive symptoms was only found for patients.


Conclusion: In an interdependent relationship within the patient-spouse dyads, each dyad member's perceived control influenced their partner's emotional well-being as well as depressive symptoms. The findings suggest development of dyadic interventions that can increase perceived control over the heart condition.