Objective: To evaluate the differential and independent impact of sociodemographic, medical, and psychologic variables assessed at hospital discharge on patients' short- and long-term mental health.
Design: Longitudinal study.
Setting: Eight medical centers in central Israel.
Participants: Male Israeli patients (N = 209; age range: 30-65 y) with documented first acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Intervention: Subjects were interviewed 3 times, once (T1) before hospital discharge, a second time (T2) at 3 to 6 months after discharge, and a third time (T3) at 5 years post-AMI. Sociodemographic, medical, and psychologic data were elicited at the first interview and completed with medical information in the files. Psychologic well-being and psychologic distress were evaluated by the Mental Health Inventory at the second and third interviews. These 2 outcome variables were compared with normative community data on these aspects of mental health.
Main outcome measures: Hierarchical regression was used to examine the relation between the independent variables, sociodemographic, medical, and psychologic variables, and the dependent variables, psychologic well-being and psychologic distress, at T2 and T3.
Results: Depression, perceived health, sense of coherence, social support, and educational level at discharge predicted aspects of mental health 3 to 6 months and 5 years post-AMI. However, only psychologic distress differentiated between the research participants and the normative community sample of men.
Conclusions: A first episode of AMI appears to increase psychologic distress more than it decreases psychologic well-being both 3 to 6 months and 5 years post-AMI. Educational level and sense of coherence may serve as protective factors, whereas depression may foster vulnerability to distress and impaired psychologic well-being.
Copyright 2002 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation