Site Matters: Winning the Hearts and Minds of Patients in a Cardiology Clinic

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Background: In medical care settings, mental health symptoms of depression and distress are associated with poor medical outcomes, yet they are often underrecognized. Objective: Authors sought to examine the effect of having immediate mental-health screening in the cardiology clinic. Method: The Patient Health Questionnaire and the Impact of Event Scale were used to screen for depression and distress in 316 patients at an urban cardiology clinic. Because of poor follow-up rates, a psychiatrist was placed on the premises of the cardiology clinic to facilitate referrals. Results: Placing a psychiatrist within the cardiology clinic significantly improved the rate of successful referrals. Conclusion: Because 45 patients (14%) endorsed suicidal thoughts, authors conclude that mental health screening programs should include an immediate evaluation by a clinician.

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APA Citation: Annunziato, R. A., Rubinstein, D., Sheikh, S., Maurer, M., Cotter, G., McKay, M. M., Milo-Cotter, O., Gorman, J. M., & Shemesh, E. (2008). Site matters: Winning the hearts and minds of patients in a cardiology clinic. Psychosomatics, 49, 386-391. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.49.5.386