illness perception and coping styles are related to the perceived quality of life in chronic illness. this study aimed at identifying beliefs about illness and coping strategies as predictors of health related quality of life in a sample of 80 patients (68.6% men and 31.3% women) who were attending the cardiac rehabilitation program at the fundación cardiovascular de colombia, based in bucaramanga. in order to achieve this objective, the illness behavior questionnaire (ibq), the coping strategies scale- modified (css-m) and the health related quality of life questionnaire sf-36 were administered to the participants. the statistical results show the influence of passive coping strategies and of beliefs focused on the constraints inherent to their pathology on the poor quality of life of the assessed sample. they also show religion as a protective strategy for coping with cardiovascular disease.