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 research in this area has shown that symptoms of distress and 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 informed about the possible emotional reactions to a heart event and few are supported in their emotional recovery. We have developed a suite of resources for patients and health professionals to support patients’ emotional adjustment. These 'cardiac blues' resources assist patients and health professionals in understanding the emotional responses to a cardiac event and in identifying depression risk, and help with managing depressive symptoms.  

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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 or to help patients and health professionals in identifying the areas of disease management that are triggering the patient's 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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