Anxiety After Heart Attack is Mismanaged
Anxiety is common, but not inevitable after a heart attack. If left untreated, it may impair a patient's recovery.
There is a mismatch between patients' own descriptions of anxiety after a heart attack and the way it is recorded and treated by their doctors. Anxiety is common - but not inevitable - after a heart attack. Left untreated, it may impair a patient's recovery.
Researchers at Ohio State University have looked at the experience of a group of 101 heart attack patients. Anxiety levels varied from none to severe. Nearly half of those who rated themselves as being extremely anxious had not had a clinical assessment of anxiety. Nor had more than half of those saying they were moderately or mildly anxious. Slightly less than a third of those reporting no anxiety had been evaluated.
Three quarters of the participants had received some treatment for anxiety - such as tranquilizing drugs or relaxation therapy - but a prior clinical assessment had only been done in less than half of cases. It was rare for any follow up to be done to see if the treatments were effective.
The researchers are developing an easy-to-administer tool that can accurately measure the patient's level of anxiety after a heart attack. This will help doctors administer the correct treatment, if any is needed and this should aid the patient's recovery.
Ohio State University press release, March 12, 2003.
Staff, H. (2003, March 12). Anxiety After Heart Attack is Mismanaged, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/articles/anxiety-after-heart-attack-is-mismanaged