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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2014 Mar;139(12):580-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1369862. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

[Resilience in chronic heart failure].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Allgemeine Innere und Psychosomatische Medizin, Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg.
  • 2Abteilung für Kardiologie, Angiologie und Pneumologie, Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg.
  • 3Institut für Psychosoziale Medizin und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Jena.



The study investigated correlates of resilience in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients suffering from a high somatic symptom burden and/or a clinical relevant depression. Furthermore, the resilience of the sample was compared to a representative sample of the German general population.


186 patients with CHF and high symptom burden (82 depressed and 104 non depressed) were investigated. Resilience was assessed using the Resilience Scale from Wagnild and Young. For the comparison of resilience, the sample of the general population (372 persons) was matched against the CHF sample regarding the variables age and gender.


There was a significant positive association of resilience with age and social support, whereas hopelessness and the inability to understand and describe emotions in the self (alexithymia) correlated negatively with resilience. Comparison with the general population revealed a significantly lower resilience in depressed CHF patients.


Resilience seems to be predominantly associated to psychosocial variables such as age or social support rather than to disease-specific parameters such as left ventricular ejection fraction or NYHA functional class. Our finding that resilience is especially low in depressed CHF patients underscores the clinical relevance of depression in CHF, necessitating further research regarding the improvement of resilience and depression.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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