Psychological distress and illness representation of patients underwent coronary artery bypass grafting
█ Original article
Teleki Szidalisz Ágnes1, Lénárd László2, Komócsi András2, Kiss Enikő Csilla3, Tiringer István4
1Pécsi Tudományegyetem Bölcsészet- és Társadalomtudományi Kar, Pszichológia Intézet, Személyiség- és Egészségpszichológiai Tanszék, Pécs
2Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Klinikai Központ, Szívgyógyászati Klinika, Pécs
3Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem, Bölcsészettudományi Kar, Pszichológiai Intézet, Személyiség- és
Egészségpszichológiai Tanszék, Pécs
4Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Magatartástudományi Intézet, Pécs
Purpose: Anxiety and depression have a significant, effect on the development and course of coronary artery disease. Therefore, it is necessary to pay special attention to the influencing factors and treatment of these psychological conditions. A possible influencing factor is the individual’s cognitive perception of the disease, the so-called illness representation, which thus requires special attention. The study aims to examine anxiety and depression among patients after coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) in the six-month period following the intervention, and to examine the possible correlation between illness representation and these conditions.
Methods: In the study, 62 patient who underwent CABG (N= 62; 40 men, 22 women; mean age = 62.26, SD = 5.75) completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the short version of the Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R).
Results: According to our results, the level of anxiety decreased gradually and significantly in the six months following the surgery [c2 (2) = 34.718; p<0.001]. Depressive symptoms also significantly decreased in the first two months (Z= –2.353, p<0.05), however, the intensity of symptoms increased later, although not significantly (Z = –1.633, p=0.103). The analysis also showed that the Consequences, Duration, and Identity dimensions of the illness representation are closely related to the above psychosocial factors.
Conclusion: Although the reduction of anxiety symptoms shows the success of psychological adaptation, the increase of depressive symptoms implies the need for adequate screening of patients’ mood and, if necessary, the need to involve patients in psychological intervention. The results also suggest that the development of a more adequate illness representation – especially regarding the duration of the disease, its short-term and long-term consequences, and symptoms – can effectively lead to the reduction of anxiety and depressive symptoms. The possible misperceptions can be transformed into an adequate disease experience, as a result of proper patient education provided by health professionals.