It is not unreasonable to believe that an individual who has had a near-death experience and is struggling to recover would feel some level of depression. In fact, for cardiac recovery patients who are slow to recovery, their depression could lead to hospital readmissions or even death.
This finding was recently highlighted in an SMH article out of Australia. Researchers focusing on this area report that better screening of cardiac patients for symptoms of depression and anxiety could help to speed recovery and reduce deaths and readmissions.
Alyna Turner, a senior researcher at the Heart Research Center noted that checking the psychological conditions of a patient after the occurrence of a heart attack is essential, yet can depend on the resources of the cardiac clinics.
A study conducted by the University of Newcastle found that patients with severe anxiety were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after a heart attack. In addition, the study found that those with depression stayed in the hospital longer.
One reason why it is important to pay attention to anxiety levels in patients is the fact that severe anxiety is comparable to having had a previous heart attack or serious heart surgery in terms of the risk it presented. As a result, it is important that heart patients are emotionally healthy in addition to being physically healthy.
According to study findings, it takes people roughly three to six months to adjust to the grief and altered circumstances that come out of having a heart attack. If these feelings cannot be controlled or worsen, the patient should seek help. Depression and anxiety can impact quality of life, as well as the likelihood the individual will do the things they need to do to drive recovery.