Current Cardiology Reports

, 21:123 | Cite as

Enhancing Social Support Among People with Cardiovascular Disease: a Systematic Scoping Review

  • Cam Clayton
  • Catrin Motley
  • Brodie SakakibaraEmail author
Psychological Aspects of Cardiovascular Diseases (A Steptoe, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychological Aspects of Cardiovascular Diseases


Purpose of Review

The presence of social support is a major determinant of positive health outcomes among people with cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, little is known about the most effective strategies for enhancing social support among this population. The aim of this scoping review was to describe the effectiveness of interventions seeking to enhance social support among people living with CVD and synthesize the evidence.

Recent Findings

A systematic search for articles that (a) reported on interventions which may enhance social support and (b) included a measure of social support revealed 21 studies. Interventions to enhance social support were diverse and included cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, peer support, and multi-faceted cardiac rehabilitation programmes. Most studies were of fair to good quality according to the PEDro criteria. With the exception of caregiver-oriented interventions, few studies reported significant changes in social support measures.


Early evidence suggests that caregiver-oriented strategies may offer a promising avenue for enhancing social support; however, more research of higher quality is required to determine the optimal strategies to enhance support among those living with CVD.


Cardiovascular disease Social support Isolation Cardiac rehabilitation 



B.M Sakakibara is supported by a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

C.T. Clayton, C. Motley, and B.M. Sakakibara declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cam Clayton
    • 1
  • Catrin Motley
    • 2
  • Brodie Sakakibara
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Vancouver Fraser Medical Program, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention & Management, Southern Medical Program, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention & Management, Southern Medical Program, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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