Abstract The purpose of this study was to ascertain the amount of in-hospital social support received by coronary artery bypass grafting patients and the impact of this support on their feelings of fear and anxiety. As adapted from Kahn's theory, social support was understood as emotional, informational and tangible support. The bypass grafting fear scale was developed to measure the fear, and the hospital anxiety and depression scale and the state anxiety inventory were used to measure the anxiety. Data were collected pre-operatively with a questionnaire from in-patients ( N=193) and analysed using logistic regression analysis and one-way ANOVA. The majority of patients received plenty of social support from nurses and a great deal of multiprofessional counselling. When the amount of social support was high, patients experienced lower levels of fear and anxiety. It is concluded that social support from nurses can effectively reduce pre-operative fear and anxiety, but that the amount of support should be high.