Depression, anxiety and stress in women following acute coronary syndrome: implications for secondary prevention

Elsevier Australia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Critical Care, 2007, 20 (2), pp. 69 - 76
Issue Date:
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Objective To document incidence of depression, anxiety, and stress in women more than 6 months following an acute coronary syndrome. Design Participants were identified from a coronary care unit database. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21 (DASS 21) was sent to potential participants via postal survey. Setting A metropolitan teaching hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Participants The cohort of women was aged between 55 and 70 years. They had been admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) between 6 and 14 months prior to participating in this study. Main outcome measures Scores on Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS 21). Results Of the 117 posted questionnaires, 39 women with a mean age of 63 (S.D. 4.97) responded to the survey, representing a response rate of 33.3%. Most participants scored within normal levels of depression (66.7%), anxiety (60.5%), and stress (70.3%), however, mild to extremely severe levels of each construct (33.4%, 39.6%, and 29.7%, respectively) were found. Conclusions The reporting of elevated levels of depression, anxiety and stress in a subset of women more than 6 months following an ACS event underscores the importance of ongoing screening for risk factors impacting on psychological well-being and the inclusion of this information in education and counseling strategies in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Based on these pilot data, consideration of a screening system in the immediate post discharge period for women at risk and an education or support service are recommended.
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