American Heart AssociationDepression is said to frequently co-occur with heart disease and is apparently discovered more regularly in women with heart disease as compared to men. Depression also apparently hinders with adherence to lifestyle alterations and the readiness to attend rehabilitation.

A research claims that depressive symptoms apparently reduces among women suffering from coronary hear diseases who took part in a cardiac rehabilitation program only for women.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs modified to the requirements of women and to their present level of willingness to alter may develop devotion to such programs and could enhance results for women.

“Women often don’t have the motivation to attend cardiac rehab particularly if they’re depressed. Historically women have not been socialized to exercise and their attendance in cardiac rehabilitation programs has been consistently poor over the last several decades. This poor attendance may be partly due to mismatches in stages of readiness for behavior change with the health professional approaching from an action-oriented perspective and the women merely contemplating change – this is destined to evoke resistance,” commented Theresa Beckie, Ph.D., lead investigator and author of the research and professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Nursing in Tampa, Florida.

The principal objectives of the 5-year clinical trial were to supposedly to evaluate numerous physiological and psychosocial results of women who took part in this special 12-week rehabilitation program only for women to women who participated in the conventional cardiac rehabilitation program.

Depressive symptoms of 225 women who finished this trial were supposedly assessed following the interventions plus subsequent to a 6-month follow-up duration.

Subjects finished the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale before commencing the intervention, one week after carrying out the intervention, and again six months afterward. The questionnaire asked them as to how regularly in the past week they felt miserable, optimistic, lost, pleased and apprehensive.

Depression scores for the women taking part in the customary cardiac rehab decreased from 16.5 to 14.3 in about 12 weeks, while scores in the other group reduced from 17.3 to 11.0 which is claimed to be a significant decline compared to the traditional group. Post a 6-month follow-up, the conventional rehab group apparently had a mean score of 15.2 and those in the women-specific program supposedly had an average score of 13.

Beckie remarked, “We found that improvements in depressive symptoms were sustained at the 6-month follow-up in the augmented group while those in traditional cardiac rehab were essentially unchanged. This intervention also led to significantly better attendance and completion rates than those in the traditional cardiac rehabilitation program.”

The intervention was said to be steered by the transtheoretical model of behavior change and was conveyed with motivational interviewing clinical techniques. The motivationally-enhanced intervention apparently started with an evaluation of their phase of motivational willingness to alter three concerning behaviors i.e. healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management. The researchers then used apt stage-matched approaches to endorse the uptake of health behaviors.

Beckie mentioned, “We didn’t push them if they weren’t ready to make the changes. We have found that if some patients receive long lists of behaviors they are expected to change immediately — such as quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising regularly — they are overwhelmed. Pushing such patients who are not ready can lead them to tune out or drop out. Instead, for these women, we acknowledged their ambivalence about change and gave them strategies to move toward being ready by reinforcing their own motivations for changing. It’s unrealistic to expect all patients to change their lifestyle all at once, right now in front of you.”

The women-centered program apparently follows a more personalized style to rehabilitation. Beckie anticipates that these outcomes may result in symptoms of depression being examined more frequently in women suffering from heart disease and to more motivationally amplified, women-specific rehabilitation alternatives.

The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2009.