ABSTRACT: Psychological distress is common in patients with chronic heart failure. The impact of different psychological variables on prognosis has been shown but the comparative effects of these variables remain unclear. This study examines the impact of depression, anxiety, vital exhaustion, Type D personality, and social support on prognosis in chronic heart failure patients. One hundred eleven patients (mean age 57 ± 14 years) having participated in an exercise based ambulatory cardiac rehabilitation program were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Psychological baseline data were assessed at program entry. Mortality, readmission, and health-related quality of life were assessed at follow up (mean 2.8 ± 1.1 years). After controlling for disease severity none of the psychological variables were associated with mortality, though severe anxiety predicted readmission [HR = 3.21 (95% CI, 1.04-9.93; P = .042)]. Health-related quality of life was independently explained by vital exhaustion, anxiety and either body mass index (physical dimension) or sex (emotional dimension). As psychological variables have a strong impact on health-related quality of life they should be routinely assessed in chronic heart failure patients` treatment.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine 02/2011; 34(1):13-22. · 3.10 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Psychological factors are important in the etiology and prognosis of coronary heart disease (CHD). Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) aims to reduce psychological distress, besides other somatic risk factors. Studies have shown that CR is effective in reducing psychological distress, but little is known about gender-specific outcome differences. Our objective was to examine whether women and men benefit equally from outpatient CR in terms of reduction in psychological distress and whether women show more impaired psychological health at baseline of CR than do men.
We enrolled 441 CHD patients (mean age 58+/-11 years, 79.8% men) who underwent a 12-week outpatient CR program. Psychological dimensions, namely, anxiety, depression, vital exhaustion, social inhibition, and negative affect, were assessed at baseline and post-CR. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), controlling for age, disease severity, and exercise capacity, was applied to test for gender-specific differences at baseline and change between baseline and post-CR. In addition, gender-specific effect sizes were calculated for the change on psychological dimensions.
Women and men did not differ on any psychological measure at baseline of CR. The effect sizes show small to moderate treatment effects on the psychological dimensions assessed. Gender had a significant impact on change on the dimensions vital exhaustion (F=5.040(df=1), p<0.05) and social inhibition (F=5.74(df=1), p<0.05). Women showed larger change on social inhibition and smaller change on vital exhaustion than men.
Women and men do not differ in the extent of psychological distress at baseline of CR, which could be explained also by the exclusion of highly distressed women from treatment. CR is less effective among women with regard to vital exhaustion and more effective with regard to social inhibition compared with men in a sample of low distressed patients.
Journal of Women s Health 12/2009; 18(12):2033-9. · 1.57 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Psychological distress, poor disease-specific quality of life (QoL), and reduction in vagally mediated early heart rate recovery (HRR) after exercise, all previously predicted morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). We hypothesized lower HRR with greater psychological distress and poorer QoL in CHF.
All assessments were made at the beginning of a comprehensive cardiac outpatient rehabilitation intervention program.
Fifty-six CHF patients (mean 58+/-12 years, 84% men) completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire. HRR was determined as the difference between HR at the end of exercise and 1 min after exercise termination (HRR-1).
Elevated levels of anxiety symptoms (P=0.005) as well as decreased levels of the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire total (P = 0.025), physical (P=0.026), and emotional (P=0.017) QoL were independently associated with blunted HRR-1. Anxiety, total, physical, and emotional QoL explained 11.4, 8, 7.8, and 9.0%, respectively, of the variance after controlling for covariates. Depressed mood was not associated with HRR-1 (P=0.20).
Increased psychological distress with regard to elevated anxiety symptoms and impaired QoL were independent correlates of reduced HRR-1 in patients with CHF. Reduced vagal tone might explain part of the adverse clinical outcome previously observed in CHF patients in relation to psychological distress and poor disease-specific QoL.
European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation: official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology 10/2009; 16(6):645-50. · 2.51 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Vital exhaustion and type D personality previously predicted mortality and cardiac events in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Reduced heart rate recovery (HRR) also predicts morbidity and mortality in CHF. We hypothesized that elevated levels of vital exhaustion and type D personality are both associated with decreased HRR.
Fifty-one patients with CHF (mean age 58+/-12 years, 82% men) and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < or = 40% underwent standard exercise testing before receiving outpatient cardiac rehabilitation. They completed the 9-item short form of the Maastricht Vital Exhaustion Questionnaire and the 14-item type D questionnaire asking about negative affectivity and social inhibition. HRR was calculated as the difference between heart rate at the end of exercise and 1 min after abrupt cessation of exercise (HRR-1). Regression analyses were adjusted for gender, age, LVEF, and maximum exercise capacity.
Vital exhaustion explained 8.4% of the variance in continuous HRR-1 (p=0.045). For each point increase on the vital exhaustion score (range 0-18) there was a mean+/-SEM decrease of 0.54+/-0.26 bpm in HRR-1. Type D personality showed a trend toward statistical significance for being associated with lower levels of HRR-1 explaining 6.5% of the variance (p<0.08). The likelihood of having HRR-1 < or = 18 bpm was significantly higher in patients with type D personality than in those without (odds ratio=7.62, 95% CI 1.50-38.80).
Elevated levels of vital exhaustion and type D personality were both independently associated with reduced HRR-1. The findings provide a hitherto not explored psychobiological explanation for poor cardiac outcome in patients with CHF.
Journal of Cardiology 05/2009; 53(2):248-56. · 1.28 Impact Factor