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Appl Nurs Res. 2010 May;23(2):e15-20. doi: 10.1016/j.apnr.2008.10.001. Epub 2009 Jan 15.

Challenges and strategies of dyad research: cardiovascular examples.

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Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. <>


This article highlights challenges in recruitment, retention, attrition, data collection, and analysis when studying dyads in cardiovascular research. Including family members in studies is particularly important because family members often have a major role in treatment of patients with cardiovascular illness. The partnership of a patient-family member is referred to as a dyad and may include the cardiovascular patient and another relative, such as an adult child, sibling, spouse, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, or unmarried partner. Insights gained from previous research may facilitate and improve rigor when reviewing and conducting studies involving dyads with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Including patients and partners in descriptive and intervention studies will allow researchers to more fully explore family factors that may be salient in health outcomes.

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