ARTICLESThe Importance and Impact of Social Support on Outcomes in Patients With Heart Failure: An Overview of the LiteratureLuttik, Marie Louise MSc, RN; Jaarsma, Tiny PhD, RN; Moser, Debra DNSc, RN; Sanderman, Robbert PhD; van Veldhuisen, Dirk J. MD, PhDAuthor Information Marie Louise Luttik, MSc, RN Research Fellow, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands. Tiny Jaarsma, PhD, RN Associate Professor, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands. Debra Moser, DNSc, RN Professor and Gill Chair of Cardiovascular Nursing, University of Kentucky, College of Nursing, Lexington, Ky. Robbert Sanderman, PhD Professor, Department of Health Psychology, University of Groningen, Northern Centre for Health Care Research, Groningen, The Netherlands. Dirk J. van Veldhuisen, MD, PhD Professor and Head of the Department of Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands. Corresponding author Marie Louise Luttik, MSc, RN, Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcentre, University Hospital Groningen, PO Box 30.001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands (e-mail: email@example.com). This study was supported by the Netherlands Heart Foundation (Grant 2000Z003). Dr van Veldhuisen is an established investigator of the Netherlands Heart Foundation (Grant D97.017). The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: May-June 2005 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - p 162-169 Buy Abstract As advances in medical treatment of heart failure (HF) become limited, other factors are being studied to improve outcomes. There is much evidence that supportive social relations have a major impact on health outcomes and that social support is essential for adjustment to illness. This article describes current research on the influence of social support on outcomes in patients with HF. A computerized literature search in Medline, CINAHL, and PsychLit was performed on each of the different outcomes in relation to social support, covering the period 1993 to 2003. Seventeen studies were found that investigated the relationship between social support and different outcome measures in HF. Four studies found clear relationships between social support and rehospitalizations and mortality; the relationship between quality of life and depression was less clear. Up to now, limited research has been done on the impact of social support on outcomes in patients with HF. The available studies suggest that social support has an impact on HF outcomes but further research is necessary before firm conclusions about the nature of these relationships can be reached. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.