Beating the post-MI blues: improving detection and treatment of depression after a heart attack
Depression after myocardial infarction (MI) is extremely common, affecting almost half of all patients. The combination of MI and depression reduces the chance of recovery and makes it much more likely that patients will have another cardiac event. Depressed patients are also less likely to get back to work and they use health services more than those who are not depressed. We carried out a survey to investigate the perceptions, attitudes and skills of primary care practitioners in recognising and treating depression in patients following an MI to explore how this important co-morbidity is managed in practice. Readers of the British Journal of Primary Care Nursing (BJPCN) were invited to participate in an online survey, together with readers of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal. The survey results show that although primary healthcare practitioners realise that depression after MI is a significant problem, many underestimate quite how common it is and have received little or no training in recognising or managing depression.