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Optimism, response to treatment of depression, and rehospitalization after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2012 by Hilary A. Tindle, Bea Herbeck Belnap, Patricia R. Houck, Sati Mazumdar, Michael Scheier, Karen A. Matthews, Fanyin He, Bruce L. Rollman

OBJECTIVE: Optimism has been associated with a lower risk of rehospitalization after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, but little is known about how optimism affects treatment of depression in post-CABG patients.

METHODS: Using data from a collaborative care intervention trial for post-CABG depression, we conducted exploratory post hoc analyses of 284 depressed post-CABG patients (2-week posthospitalization score in the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire ≥ 10) and 146 controls without depression who completed the Life Orientation Test - Revised (full scale and subscale) to assess dispositional optimism. We classified patients as optimists and pessimists based on the sample-specific Life Orientation Test - Revised distributions in each cohort (full sample, depressed, nondepressed). For 8 months, we assessed health-related quality of life (using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey) and mood symptoms (using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [HRS-D]) and adjudicated all-cause rehospitalization. We defined treatment response as a 50% or higher decline in HRS-D score from baseline.

RESULTS: Compared with pessimists, optimists had lower baseline mean HRS-D scores (8 versus 15, p = .001). Among depressed patients, optimists were more likely to respond to treatment at 8 months (58% versus 27%, odds ratio = 3.02, 95% confidence interval = 1.28-7.13, p = .01), a finding that was not sustained in the intervention group. The optimism subscale, but not the pessimism subscale, predicted treatment response. By 8 months, optimists were less likely to be rehospitalized (odds ratio = 0.54, 95% confidence interval = 0.32-0.93, p = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Among depressed post-CABG patients, optimists responded to depression treatment at higher rates. Independent of depression, optimists were less likely to be rehospitalized by 8 months after CABG. Further research should explore the impact of optimism on these and other important long-term post-CABG outcomes.

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01/02/2012

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