Prediction of therapy outcome in depressed and anxious cardiac patients

Forty-six depressed and anxious cardiac patients who had suffered myocardial infarction and/or bypass surgery were given twelve weekly sessions of either supportive or behavioral therapy. Patients completed a battery of psychological assessments at five different time periods, before therapy, at the completion of therapy, and at three, nine and fifteen month follow-ups. A combined standard-hierarchical multiple regression was used to determine if certain selected variables could predict success in therapy at each of the four post-therapy time periods. Two of the individual variables, Global Severity Index and Expectations were significant predictors. Taking the eleven variables as a group, strong prediction prediction was obtained, with predictable variance in therapy success increasing from 44% at the conclusion of therapy to 72% at the fifteen month follow-up. Further research is indicated with a larger group of patients in order to investigate a more diverse socioeconomic group and to further study the best combination of predictor variables. Cardiac patients form a group that is continuously at risk for further heart problems, therefore maintenance of the best possible quality of life, with the least amount of stress, is important for this population.