Heart Disease Patients Benefit From Depression Screenings

By Staff Writer

Depression and cardiovascular disease often go hand in hand and frequently occur simultaneously in patients. Because of this, experts now warn that doctors should screen their patients who are being treated for heart conditions before discharging them. This could result in fewer trips to mental health and drug rehab facilities.

A team of researchers from the Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes that providing cardiac patients with a quick test for depression and providing follow-up mental health services can significantly decrease the prevalence of the condition, according to HealthDay News.

The researchers told the news source that giving patients access to a psychiatrist and having a single doctor coordinate all their care following discharge doesn’t add that much expense to the care of heart disease patients. Given the benefits it can have, it should become more common, they said.

An earlier study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that similar disease management programs that offer patients more attention can be one of the most effective ways to treat depression.