Couples Living With Cardiovascular Disease: Effects on the Marital Relationship

Sheindy Pretter, Victoria H. Raveis, Monique Carrero, Mathew S. Maurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stress of living with cardiac disease can affect a couple's marriage, transforming its character. This article examines the psychosocial impact of cardiovascular disease, delineating the ways in which the illness experience changes the marital relationship. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 23 spouses of patients (mean age 56) diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. Interviews were transcribed and subjected to content analysis. Two overarching dimensions emerged, depicting positive and negative effects on the marriage. Ongoing care for cardiac patients should include a focus on spousal caregivers, supporting both members of the couple as they jointly face challenges engendered by the illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • cardiovascular disease
  • caregivers
  • couples
  • marital relationship
  • qualitative
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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