HeartNet: social support for South Asian cardiac patients - first phase report

Ali, Haider and Gupta, Sandy (2008). HeartNet: social support for South Asian cardiac patients - first phase report. British Heart Foundation, London.


Here we identify the key findings for health promotion. The findings are presented in terms of the key types of social support that we have studied in this research namely, emotional, tangible and information support.
Overall this research has found the following:
• South Asian patients experience heart disease in a social context that includes not only the spouse but also children and other family members
• South Asian patients have to socially negotiate their heart disease with a wider social network that may not understand the implications of having heart disease
• The South Asian patients’ social networks can be a source of information, emotional support and tangible resources however they can also prove to have liabilities in terms of social norms, expectations and conventions. For the South Asian patient, living with heart disease can involve trying to benefit from the resources available while dealing with the liabilities
• Some South Asian patients may still have strong ties with friends and relatives in the Indian sub-continent as a result they may be exposed to the information and beliefs about heart disease prevalent there. Some of these may be inaccurate.
• Some Asians may not always have the social network resources (e.g. help from close relatives) that they would normally be expected to have. In these instances they may need to develop resource networks with neighbours and other patients (often from outside their racial/religious community).

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