BACKGROUND: Growth of cardiovascular disease (CVD), variation in provision of medical services, rising costs, and increasing information availability through the media are making patients more actively involved in decision-making process of their treatment. The aim of this study was to better understand the components of patient competence in the context of coronary artery disease (CAD) and to further evaluate their relations with medical, demographic, and psychosocial characteristics.METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 148 patients with at least one year diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) were enrolled in the study from April to June 2014. Data on demographic characteristics, depression, anxiety, quality of life (QOL), social support, and drug adherence were collected from participants. Pearson correlation, one way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and multiple linear regression tests were performed for analyzing data.RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 53.63 ± 5.15. Of the participants, 58 (39.5%) and 61 cases (41.5%) were found to be depressed and anxious, respectively. Higher levels of self-regulation correlated with higher education years and social support, and also with lower depression and anxiety (P < 0.050). Stress management and confronting the threat were linked to education years, depression, anxiety, QOL, and social support (P < 0.050).CONCLUSION: The patients with CAD, in order to be involved in the proper treatment process and manage their emotions during this process, need to have the required competencies. Patient competence as a whole and its components have been related to medical, demographic, and psychosocial characteristics.