AHRQ-Funded Study Helps Providers Screen for and Treat Depression in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome
A new AHRQ analysis helps providers know how to screen for depression in patients who have suffered an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) event. Patients who have suffered an ACS event, including a heart attack or any event where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked, are more likely to suffer from depression. As described in an article published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, study authors evaluated the accuracy of depression screenings of patients within three months of experiencing an ACS event. They found several depression screening tools used by providers were effective at identifying depression symptoms, and that strategies integrating psychiatric treatment into cardiology and primary care settings improved depression symptoms. In addition, the researchers concluded that a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressant medication improved depression symptoms, mental health-related function and overall life satisfaction. Access the article as well as the AHRQ-funded comparative effectiveness review that served as the basis for the article.