Thursday, 11 December 2014

'Beating Heart Problems' program proves to be effective

Depression is common following an acute cardiac event and can occur at a time when behaviour change is strongly recommended to reduce the risk of further cardiovascular events.

A publication co-authored by seven researchers has explored the efficacy of an intervention utilising cognitive behavioural therapy the 'Beating Heart Problems' program to support cardiac patients in improving their confidence and managing sudden behavioural changes and mood swings.

Utilising an 8-week model, the program was run over a three-year period, with a sample of 275 patients in a hospital clinic. Baseline assessments were used to determine psychological risk factors following the acute cardiac event.

The Beating Heart Problems program employed a group-based scheme with eight different modules targeting areas such as social support, depression, physical activity, smoking and medication. Psychologists facilitated the intervention with nine patients in each session.

The results extracted indicated that the program has had a positive impact in reducing symptoms of depression and managing anxiety with patients. Self-rated health reports improved within the group and trends indicated increased confidence in managing anxiety and anger. The authors conclude that a program employing a group secondary prevention model is effective in administering strategies to target behavioural issues and improving mental well-being of patients.

Read about the programme in full here.


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