AN EVALUATION OF THE MENTAL HEALTH OF PRE- AND POST-OPERATIVE CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS PATIENTS
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Coronary artery disease and bypass surgery can have a major impact on many aspects of patients' lives. A substantial proportion of cardiac patients experience high levels of psychological morbidity and in many cases, this is not closely related to physical symptoms. From the current evidence it is not yet possible to reliably identify the factors that contribute to the development of patients' poor mental health. In this investigation, a detailed description of patients' social, psychological and medical history was gained both before and after surgery. Having had distressing experiences in the Intensive Care Unit was highly correlated with psychological morbidity six months after surgery. These findings were considered in relation to psychological theories of depression and anxiety in order to better understand the distress experienced by cardiac patients.
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