Cardiac support groups may positively affect adjustment after cardiac events and quality of life (QoL). However, although participation in support groups is presumed to be beneficial, there were few studies regarding the potential benefit. The purpose of this review was to examine studies focused on the effects of cardiac support groups on health-related outcomes. Four studies met the inclusion criteria for review. Eight categories of support group outcomes were identified, including psychological outcomes, health behaviors, clinical health, health-related QoL, self-reported health conditions, social support, life situation, and knowledge. Most cardiac support group outcomes, though positive, were not statistically significantly different from those of control groups in studies reviewed. Psychosocial need of patients following cardiac events is indicated, including stress management and social support, and encouraging the establishment of realistic individual goals. More research is needed to establish cost-effective formats for support groups and to determine specific outcomes that can be achieved.
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- cardiac disease
- support groups