Interviewer: How can we improve quality of life in these patients?
Dr. Alberto: The most important thing would be to treat depression, as it has been established that depression more accurately predicts quality of life than other factors, such as lifestyle or other comorbidities. However, treatments that reduce depressive symptoms do not necessarily result in improved quality of life. Psychotherapy might be more effective as it directly targets general well-being. A recent meta-analysis by Hofmann et al concluded that both psycho-pharmacological treatment and cognitive behavioural treatment improved quality of life in depressed patients. Specific interventions should include enhancing socialisation (as isolation is a risk factor), treatment adherence and self-care.
Interviewer: You mentioned before that there are specific measures to combat depression in patients who have suffered a cardiac event?
Dr. Alberto: Fortunately, most hospitals now have cardiac rehabilitation programs, which are a crucial element in the recovery of these patients. They form an essential component of the comprehensive management of cardiac patients, largely to reduce the detrimental emotional, psycho-social, and physical consequences of cardiac events.