Understanding the family care dyad: A comparison of two multilevel models

Karen S. Lyons, Christopher S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although there has been increasing attention on a dyadic perspective of illness, contemporary dyadic research methods are still rarely utilized in cardiovascular disease. The focus of this paper is to describe the advantages of two types of multilevel dyadic models (the matched pairs model and the lesser known incongruence model). Data exemplars in a sample of heart failure family dyads are used to illustrate the distinct advantages of these two related multilevel dyadic models with particular emphasis on alignment with research questions. The more commonly known matched pairs model examines separate outcomes for each member of the dyad, controlling for the interdependent nature of the data. By re-parameterizing this model into a univariate dyadic outcomes model, researchers can address distinct, and sometimes more appropriate, research questions (e.g. incongruent appraisals of the illness experience). This paper promotes greater application of these methods in cardiovascular research to further understanding of the dyadic experience and more appropriately target interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Dyadic analysis
  • caregiving
  • heart failure
  • incongruence
  • multilevel modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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