Date of Conferral





Health Services


Angela Prehn


Depression affects over 120 million individuals worldwide; in the United States, depression is a leading cause of disability for individuals’ ages 15-44 years. Social support can affect both physical and depressive symptoms; therefore, most patients with heart failure (HF) need support from family and/or friends to effectively manage their health condition. This indicates family and/or friends are expected to be the core support system for long term care of those with HF. The purpose of this study was to determine whether social support contributes to depressive symptoms among African Americans with HF. The research questions examined the experience of different types of social support, its relationship to depressive symptoms, and its relationship with the change in depressive symptoms overtime among African Americans with HF. This cohort study analyzed secondary data from the Jackson Heart Study Exam 1 2000-2004 (N=287) and Exam 3 2009-2013 (N=254) periods. Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted to test each of the research questions. The results of this study showed no significant relationships between social support and depressive symptoms. The findings from this study will assist with the enhancement of access to resources and services by providing additional knowledge regarding social support and depressive symptoms that will improve both mental and cardiovascular health among African Americans.