Chest Pain and the Treatment of Psychosocial/Emotional Distress in CAD Patients
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Treatment of psychosocial/emotional distress as a strategy for diminishing chest pain in such patients remains entirely unutilized in standard care. Sixty-three patients with known or suspected CAD were entered in an aggressive lifestyle modification program. Patients completed the Symptom Checklist 90—Revised (SCL90R) at the diagnostic interview session, at 3 and at 12 months. Statistically significant drops were observed on multiple scales of the SCL90R at both 3 and 12 months. An item from the SCL90R was used as a proxy for angina. Multiple measures of emotional distress at baseline were found to correlate with chest pain at baseline, but not a number of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The chest pain item displayed improvement at both 3 and 12 months. Improvement on all scales of the SCL90R correlated with improvement in chest pain. It may be possible to control chest pain in some CAD patients with psychosocial interventions.
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