Anxiety, distress and depression 

A heart event is an emotional experience, not just a physical one. Experiences of anxiety, distress and depression are common in cardiac patients. Our past research in this area has demonstrated that symptoms of distress or depression are highest close to the time of the acute event: for most patients, the initial symptoms of distress resolve in the first few months, whereas for others depression is still evident even 12 months later. We have several projects currently underway focusing on this important program of research. 

 

The Cardiac Blues project

While many patients experience a strong emotional reaction after having an acute cardiac event, most leave hospital without being told about this 'emotional rollercoaster’. We have developed and piloted a range of resourcesfor patients and health professionals to support patients’ emotional adjustment.

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Development of a Cardiac Distress Scale

Despite the high prevalence of distress amongst cardiac patients, there is currently no validated instrument to measure patients’ level of distress. We are developing the Cardiac Distress Scale to fill this gap.

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Nurse practitioner Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) outpatient assessment and management: The TIARA study

The TIARA study is investigating rates of anxiety and depression in patients after transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) and assessing the acceptability of an inexpensive electronic depression screening and clinician alert process. 

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Sleep disturbance, depression and mortality risk in cardiac patients

Is there a link between sleep disturbance, depression and premature mortality risk in cardiac patients? In this study we are investigating the relationships between sleep disturbance, depression and mortality to better understand the underlying mechanisms.

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