Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


cardiac rehabilitation, exercise tolerance, social factors, social support, income



  1. Fraser, Shawn N. PhD
  2. Rodgers, Wendy M. PhD
  3. Murray, Terra C. MSc
  4. Daub, Bill MSc


PURPOSE: This study explored the influence of social support on a prognostic indicator among cardiac patients, exercise tolerance. The relationship of sociodemographic factors to social support was examined, as well as the role of social support as a potential mediator between sociodemographic factors and exercise tolerance.


METHODS: Archival data were collected from a sample of 254 men referred to cardiac rehabilitation. An exercise tolerance test was completed upon entry into cardiac rehabilitation, after 14 weeks, and after 9 months.


RESULTS: Sociodemographic factors and social support reported upon entry into the cardiac rehabilitation program were related to initial and post-cardiac rehabilitation exercise tolerance, after controlling for admitting diagnoses, medical history, smoking, and perceived severity of illness. Overall, 28% of the variance in exercise tolerance was explained at baseline, 19% at 14 weeks, and 20% at 9 months. Specifically, older individuals had poorer exercise tolerance, whereas those with more income had better exercise tolerance. Social support was positively related to exercise tolerance at all 3 times. Older men reported less social support than younger men did, and those with more income reported more social support. However, social support did not mediate the relationship between sociodemographic factors and exercise tolerance.


CONCLUSIONS: Results support the potential use of broad social factors in examining the determinants of prognostic factors for heart patients.