International Journal of Rehabilitation and Health

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 89–98

Posttraumatic stress disorder-like symptoms 1 week to 3 months after myocardial infarction

  • Leonard A. Doerfler

DOI: 10.1007/BF02806722

Cite this article as:
Doerfler, L.A. Int J Rehab Health (1997) 3: 89. doi:10.1007/BF02806722


In DSM-IV, the revised criteria for PTSD allow for “being exposed to a life-threatening illness,” to now meet the criterion of exposure to an extreme stressor. The present study examined psychosocial adjustment, particularly PTSD symptoms, in 45 cardiac patients 1 week to 3 months after they experienced their first MI. Identification of potential participants proceeded via review of records of patients on the coronary care unit at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The results indicated that most patients reported low levels of distress. Using Foa and co-workers’ (1993) PTSD Symptom Scale, 9% of the patients met DSM-III-R criteria for PTSD.

Key words

posttraumatic stress disordermyocardial infarctiondepressionanxietysocial support

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard A. Doerfler
    • 1
  1. 1.Assumption College and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical CenterUSA
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentAssumption CollegeWorcester