Perceived control reduces emotional stress in patients with heart failure

Kathleen Dracup, Cheryl Westlake, Virginia S. Erickson, Debra K. Moser, Mary L. Caldwell, Michelle A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


We studied patients with heart failure (HF) to determine if perceived control reduces emotional distress (i.e., anxiety, depression and hostility) in chronic, debilitating cardiac illness and whether the demographic, clinical and psychologic characteristics of patients with high and low perceived control differed. Psychological assessment of 222 patients with heart failure included an evaluation of perceived control using the Control Attitudes Scale, as well as anxiety, depression and hostility using the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist. Using multivariate analysis to control for differences in demographic and clinical characteristics, we found that patients with high perceived control had significantly greater 6-minute walk distances and less emotional distress than patients with low perceived control. Interventions designed to increase perceived control may be an important aspect of HF care, but require testing in randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a grant from the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate, and a National Institutes of Health Training Grant (T32 NR07072).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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