• Ellen A. Dornelas


Stress is widely recognized as a contributor to cardiovascular illness and decreased quality of life; however, cardiac patients are often challenged in their efforts to reduce stress and change lifestyle. The clinician who specializes in this field faces the daunting task of developing an adequate fund of knowledge in both cardiovascular medicine and clinical psychology. In cardiology, the medical problems could include atherosclerotic-based disease, heart rhythm problems, heart failure, and heart transplant, as well as cardiac risk factors (e.g., cigarette smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, thyroid dysfunction) and other co-occuring medical problems. In addition, the technology in cardiac medicine is ever changing; new devices, surgical techniques, and medications offer the hope of prolonging life. People with heart disease are representative of the general population in terms of mental health, but comorbid psychiatric conditions (e.g., depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and adjustment reactions), personality dysfunction, and psychosocial difficulties such as job stress and overcommitment, as well as problematic behaviors (e.g., sedentary lifestyle, cigarette smoking), are all well represented within this group. Medical intervention continues to increase the number of people living with chronic heart disease, but there is a paucity of clinician-friendly books that translate the science of behavioral cardiology into practical clinical interventions. This book is designed to help to fill that void by providing the reader with an overview of the continuum of cardiac disease and its concomitant psychological ramifications, as well as illustrative examples of stress-reducing interventions for cardiac patients.


Behavioral Health Panic Disorder Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Cardiac Patient Behavioral Health Service 


  1. Allen, R., & Fischer, J. (2011). Heart and mind: The practice of cardiac psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dornelas, E. A. (2008). Psychotherapy with cardiac patients: Behavioral cardiology in practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Molinari, E., Compare, A., & Parati, G. (2006). Clinical psychology and heart disease. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen A. Dornelas
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyHartford HospitalHartfordUSA

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