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Practitioner 2011;255 (1741): 10-12

CBT reduces risk of recurrent events in CHD patients

22 Jun 2011Pais-up subscribers

Following a coronary heart disease (CHD) event, group CBT reduces the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events by 41%, a randomised controlled trial from Sweden has found. Philip Bland, The Practitioner's reviewer in mental health, writes: 'This study provides some justification for the NICE recommendation that group CBT should be the treatment of choice for CHD patients with moderate depression.' However, it would appear that long-term therapy (6-12 months) may be necessary in order to improve cardiovascular outcomes, whereas NICE recommends that group CBT should be delivered over a period of six to eight weeks. Screening for depression among patients with CHD is of doubtful value in view of the high number needed to screen, the reluctance of patients to accept treatment, and the lack of evidence to suggest that treatment of depression can reduce cardiovascular mortality. A more fruitful approach may be to facilitate successful adjustment in all patients through the addition of group CBT to cardiac rehabilitation programmes.'

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