2.6
Impact Factor

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 14 May 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00144

Posttraumatic stress and myocardial infarction risk perceptions in hospitalized acute coronary syndrome patients

Donald Edmondson*, Jonathan A. Shaffer, Ellen-Ge Denton, Daichi Shimbo and Lynn Clemow
  • Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is related to acute coronary syndrome (ACS; i.e., myocardial infarction or unstable angina) recurrence and poor post-ACS adherence to medical advice. Since risk perceptions are a primary motivator of adherence behaviors, we assessed the relationship of probable PTSD to ACS risk perceptions in hospitalized ACS patients (n = 420). Participants completed a brief PTSD screen 3–7 days post-ACS, and rated their 1-year ACS recurrence risk relative to other men or women their age. Most participants exhibited optimistic bias (mean recurrence risk estimate between “average” and “below average”). Further, participants who screened positive for current PTSD (n = 15) showed significantly greater optimistic bias than those who screened negative (p < 0.05), after adjustment for demographics, ACS severity, medical comorbidities, depression, and self-confidence in their ability to control their heart disease. Clinicians should be aware that psychosocial factors, and PTSD in particular, may be associated with poor adherence to medical advice due to exaggerated optimistic bias in recurrence risk perceptions.

Keywords: PTSD, cardiovascular disease, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, risk perceptions, secondary prevention

Citation: Edmondson D, Shaffer JA, Denton E-G, Shimbo D and Clemow L (2012) Posttraumatic stress and myocardial infarction risk perceptions in hospitalized acute coronary syndrome patients. Front. Psychology 3:144. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00144

Received: 03 April 2012; Accepted: 23 April 2012;
Published online: 14 May 2012.

Edited by:

Gian Mauro Manzoni, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Italy

Reviewed by:

Luca Filipponi, Unversità di Padova, Italy
Paraskevi Theofilou, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Greece

Copyright: © 2012 Edmondson, Shaffer, Denton, Shimbo and Clemow. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Donald Edmondson, Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 West 168 Street, PH9-948, New York, NY 10032, USA. e-mail: dee2109@columbia.edu