Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for patients reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression after myocardial infarction: U-CARE heart randomized controlled trial 12-month follow-up

Journal of Medical Internet ResearchHumphries SM, Wallert J, Norlund F, et al. | May 26, 2021

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Researchers examined the long-term effectiveness of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy on self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients 12 months after a myocardial infarction. In addition, they investigated subsequent occurrences of cardiovascular disease events. Shortly after acute myocardial infarction, they performed randomization of 239 patients (33% female, mean age 59.6 years) reporting mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression to 14 weeks of therapist-guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (n = 117) or treatment as usual (n = 122). In primary analysis, no significant difference was identified in terms of Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) total score between the treatment and control groups at follow-up 12 months after the myocardial infarction. They observed a decrease in cardiac-related anxiety, however, this did not remain significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons. The treatment groups did not differ in risk of cardiovascular events. When interpreting these results, consideration should be provided to the low treatment adherence, which might have affected treatment engagement and outcomes.

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