Purpose: To identify strategies for nurse practitioners to diagnose and treat depression following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and prevent subsequent cardiac events.
Data sources: Selected articles in the medical and psychiatric literature and government consensus guidelines.
Conclusions: Between 8% and 45% of patients who have suffered an AMI exhibit symptoms of major depression. Depression is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and causes higher morbidity and mortality rates among patients with coronary artery disease.
Implications for practice: Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are crucial to reducing cardiac related morbidity and mortality. Cardiac rehabilitation programs, psychotherapy and counseling, and pharmacotherapy are effective in the management of AMI depression.