Effects of depression and anxiety improvement on adherence to medication and health behaviors in recently hospitalized cardiac patients.Am J Cardiol. 2012 May 01; 109(9):1266-71.AJ
Impaired adherence to medications and health behaviors may mediate the connection between psychiatric symptoms and mortality in cardiac patients. This study assessed the association between improvements in depression/anxiety and self-reported adherence to health behaviors in depressed cardiac patients in the 6 months after cardiac hospitalization. Data were analyzed from depressed patients on inpatient cardiac units who were hospitalized for acute coronary syndrome, heart failure, or arrhythmia and enrolled in a randomized trial of collaborative care depression management (n = 134 in primary analysis). Measurements of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Anxiety subscale), and adherence to secondary prevention behaviors (Medical Outcomes Study-Specific Adherence Scale items) were obtained at baseline, 6 weeks 12 weeks, and 6 months. The association between improvement in depression/anxiety and adherence was assessed by linear regression after accounting for the effects of multiple relevant covariates. At all time points improvement in the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 was significantly and independently associated with self-reported adherence to medications and secondary prevention behaviors. In contrast, improvement in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Anxiety subscale was associated with improved adherence only at 6 weeks. In conclusion, in a cohort of depressed cardiac patients, improvement in depression was consistently and independently associated with superior self-reported adherence to medications and secondary prevention behaviors across a 6-month span, whereas improvement in anxiety was not.