Screening and assessment

Screening and assessment of cardiovascular risk factors is a vital step in effective secondary prevention. While clinical risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol are monitored routinely during most medical consultations, psychosocial factors such as depression and social isolation are not routinely assessed. Recent guidelines from the National Heart Foundation of Australia recommend routine screening for depression at the time of a cardiac event. This program of research focuses on this important area of screening, assessment and monitoring, with attention to measurement tools and methods. 

Screening and assessment practice within cardiac rehabilitation: A survey of cardiac rehabilitation co-ordinators

Cardiac rehabilitation provides an ideal opportunity for health professionals to screen patients across a range of cardiovascular disease risk factors. We are surveying all cardiac rehabilitation programs across Australia to determine current screening practices. 

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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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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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Development of guidelines for sleep disorder screening and management  

While sleep is commonly discussed in cardiac rehabilitation programs, there are no evidence-based guidelines for how and when to screen for sleep disorders in cardiac patients. This project involves the development of guidelines for sleep disorder screening and management in cardiovascular (CVD) patients. 

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Health-related quality of life: development of disease-specific norms for Australian private health insurance members

The Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 (SF12) is commonly used to assess health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in cardiac and other chronic disease patient groups. However, there are no established published Australian norms for the SF12 in these disease groups. We are currently developing SF-12 disease specific norms for these groups. 

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