Design and baseline data from the Gratitude Research in Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) study

Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 Sep;44:11-19. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 10.


Background: Positive psychological constructs, especially optimism, have been linked with superior cardiovascular health. However, there has been minimal study of positive constructs in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), despite the prevalence and importance of this condition. Furthermore, few studies have examined multiple positive psychological constructs and multiple cardiac-related outcomes within the same cohort to determine specifically which positive construct may affect a particular cardiac outcome.

Materials and methods: The Gratitude Research in Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) study examines the association between optimism/gratitude 2weeks post-ACS and subsequent clinical outcomes. The primary outcome measure is physical activity at 6months, measured via accelerometer, and key secondary outcome measures include levels of prognostic biomarkers and rates of nonelective cardiac rehospitalization at 6months. These relationships will be analyzed using multivariable linear regression, controlling for sociodemographic, medical, and negative psychological factors; associations between baseline positive constructs and subsequent rehospitalizations will be assessed via Cox regression.

Results: Overall, 164 participants enrolled and completed the baseline 2-week assessment; the cohort had a mean age of 61.5+/?10.5years and was 84% men; this was the first ACS for 58% of participants.

Conclusion: The GRACE study will determine whether optimism and gratitude are prospectively and independently associated with physical activity and other critical outcomes in the 6months following an ACS. If these constructs are associated with superior outcomes, this may highlight the importance of these constructs as independent prognostic factors post-ACS.

Keywords: Acute coronary syndrome; Coronary artery disease; Gratitude; Optimism; Physical activity.