Study Finds Therapy Can Assist in Avoiding Post-Heart Attack Events

A reduction of over 50% after two years seen by study authors

A recent report regarding the Cardiac Care Congress in Spain found that intervention reduces the chances of death and cardiovascular attacks in heart disease patients by over 50% on average.

“The nurses on our coronary care unit observed that patients were less likely to have another heart attack, die, or return to hospital when we talked to them about their treatment, played music for them or helped religious patients to say prayers,” said Dr. Zoi Aggelopoulou, a nurse and one of the authors of the study conducted in Athens, Greece.

The connection was further sought by the co-authors who conducted a meta-analysis of the nine randomized and controlled trials that included over 6,600 patients. Studies were pointed at deciphering if intervention itself was capable of improving the patients heart disease factors when combined with the conventional rehabilitation programs.

Studies spanned a wide range of interventions that included the health, psychological support, relaxation, and breathing techniques, along with positive diet and exercise. Other factors and exercises included music therapy, group cognitive therapy, and group cognitive therapy sessions.

Analysis noted that reductions in mortality and cardio-events was reduced by 55% after 24 months or longer of following the statistics. Benefits before that time were not significant.

“This was a sufficiently large sample that showed that the addition of a psychological intervention, introduced in the regular treatment of patients with coronary heart disease, seems to reduce mortality and recurrence of cardiac episodes,” said Aggelopoulou.

Aggelopoulou noted that benefits could be attributed to patients having a stronger understanding of what will occur if they are not diligent with their efforts, as well as patients knowing exactly what they must do to improve their quality of life.

“These psychological interventions can help reduce cardiac events in heart disease patients as they can reduce stress and depression of patients,” said Aggelopoulou.

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