Treatment of Anxiety in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: A Systematic Review.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

BACKGROUND: Anxiety is common in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and is associated with an increased risk for adverse outcomes. There has been a relative paucity of studies concerning treatment of anxiety in patients with CHD. OBJECTIVE: We conducted a systematic review to organize and assess research into the treatment of anxiety in patients with CHD. METHODS: We searched CCTR/CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL for randomized clinical trials conducted before October 2016 that measured anxiety before and after an intervention for patients with CHD. RESULTS: A total of 475 articles were subjected to full text review, yielding 112 publications that met inclusion criteria plus an additional 7 studies from reference lists and published reviews, yielding 119 studies. Sample size, country of origin, study quality, and demographics varied widely among studies. Most studies were conducted with nonanxious patients. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were the most frequently used instruments to assess anxiety. Interventions included pharmacological, counseling, relaxation-based, educational, or "alternative" therapies. Forty (33% of total) studies reported that the interventions reduced anxiety; treatment efficacy varied by study and type of intervention. Elevated anxiety was an inclusion criterion in only 4 studies, with inconsistent results. CONCLUSION: Although there have been a number of randomized clinical trials of patients with CHD that assessed anxiety, in most cases anxiety was a secondary outcome, and only one-third found that symptoms of anxiety were reduced with treatment. Future studies need to target anxious patients and evaluate the effects of treatment on anxiety and relevant clinical endpoints.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Farquhar, JM; Stonerock, GL; Blumenthal, JA

Published Date

  • 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 318 - 332

PubMed ID

  • 29735242

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6015539

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-7206

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.psym.2018.03.008


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England