Background: Psychological risk factors such as anxiety and depression have been associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). Stress can have an impact on the risk factors for the disease, such as high blood pressure (BP), physical inactivity and being overweight.
Aims: Examine the effect of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program on symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress, BP and body mass index (BMI) in patients with CHD.
Settings and design: Intervention was carried out at an Outpatient clinic. Parallel group - MBSR group; and treatment-as-usual group (TAU) - randomized control design with pre- (baseline), post-intervention and follow-up assessments was adopted.
Materials and methods: Thirty male patients, age range (30-65 years) with CHD were randomly allocated to either group. The therapeutic program comprised of eight weekly sessions of structured MBSR intervention for the MBSR group and one health education session for the TAU group. Regular medical intervention and monthly consultations with the cardiologist were consistent for both groups. The main outcome measures were: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Perceived Stress Scale (perceived stress), BP and BMI.
Statistical analysis: Independent sample t-tests, chi square test and paired sample t-test were used.
Results: All patients completed intervention in the MBSR group. Significant reduction was observed in symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress, BP and BMI in patients of the MBSR group after the completion of intervention assessment. At 3-month follow-up, therapeutic gains were maintained in patients of the MBSR group.
Conclusion: The MBSR program is effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress, BP and BMI in patients with CHD.
Keywords: Anxiety; blood pressure; body mass index; coronary heart disease; depression; mindfulness-based stress reduction; perceived stress.