Current Cardiology Reports

, 17:111 | Cite as

Psychological Aspects of Cardiac Care and Rehabilitation: Time to Wake Up to Sleep?

  • Jonathan GallagherEmail author
  • Giulia Parenti
  • Frank Doyle
Psychological Aspects of Cardiovascular Diseases (A Steptoe, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychological Aspects of Cardiovascular Diseases


Psychological and psychosocial factors have long been linked to cardiovascular disease. These psychosocial factors, including low socioeconomic status, social support/isolation, stress and distress, personality, and sleep disturbance increase risk of cardiovascular events and negatively impact quality of life. These factors may have direct effects on cardiovascular disease via immune or neuroendocrine pathways, or more indirect effects, by, for example, limiting adherence to recommended therapies and cardiac rehabilitation. Most psychosocial risk factors can be assessed relatively easily using standardised tools. Sleep disturbance, in particular, is gaining evidence for its importance and may be crucial to address. While the management of certain psychosocial risk factors is an ethical requirement for care and improves quality of life, unfortunately there is little evidence that such strategies impact on ‘hard’ endpoints such as recurrent myocardial infarction. A comprehensive biopsychosocial approach to management of these psychosocial factors is required to maximise the benefits patients derive from cardiac care.


Psychosocial risk factors (PSRFs) Cardiovascular disease Depression/anxiety Psychological management Cardiac rehabilitation Sleep 


Compliance with Ethical Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Jonathan Gallagher and Giulia Parenti declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Frank Doyle reports personal fees from Novartis.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Gallagher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giulia Parenti
    • 2
  • Frank Doyle
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Cardiology (Cardiac Rehabilitation)Beaumont HospitalDublin 9Ireland
  2. 2.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyRoyal College of Surgeons in IrelandDublin 2Ireland

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