Treatment rates for PTSD and depression in recently hospitalized cardiac patients

Sundquist, Kevin J.; Chang, Bernard; Parsons, Faith E.; Dalrymple, Nathan; Edmondson, Donald E.; Sumner, Jennifer A.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression are common after evaluation for suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and are associated with poor prognosis. However, it is unclear whether patients discharged after suspected ACS access treatments for subsequent psychological distress. We examined self-reported rates of receiving psychotherapy and/or medication for psychological distress in patients one month after a suspected ACS event.

A sample of 448 adults (age 60.4 ± 12.5; 47.8% female; 52.7% Hispanic, 32.1% Black) presenting to the emergency department with suspected ACS were recruited for the REactions to Acute Care and Hospitalization (REACH) study, an ongoing cohort study of medical and psychological outcomes after ACS evaluation. Socio-demographics and depressive symptoms were assessed in-hospital, and PTSD symptoms related to the suspected ACS event were queried via phone one month after enrollment. Participants also indicated whether they received either medication or counseling to deal with their emotions and coping after their heart problem.

Approximately 15% (n = 68) of the sample reported receiving some form of treatment. Treatment rate did not differ significantly as a function of demographics, ACS status, or insurance coverage, ps > 0.1. Over a quarter of participants (25.3%) who screened positive for PTSD and/or depression reported receiving treatment. Participants with PTSD and depression had a higher treatment rate (47.6%) vs. those with only depression (12.8%) or PTSD (30%) or no psychopathology (10.3%).

Findings suggest that 1 in 4 patients who screened positive for PTSD and/or depression reported receiving counseling or medication in the first month after a suspected ACS event.


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Also Published In

Journal of Psychosomatic Research

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
Published Here
August 26, 2017