Anxiety and depression among out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors

Resuscitation. 2015 Dec;97:68-75. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2015.09.389. Epub 2015 Oct 9.


Aim: Survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) may experience psychological distress but the actual prevalence is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate anxiety and depression within a large cohort of OHCA-survivors.

Methods: OHCA-survivors randomized to targeted temperature of 33 °C or 36 °C within the Target Temperature Management trial (TTM-trial) attended a follow-up after 6 months that included the questionnaire Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). A control group with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) completed the same follow-up. Correlations to variables assumed to be associated with anxiety and depression in OHCA-survivors were tested.

Results: At follow-up 278 OHCA-survivors and 119 STEMI-controls completed the HADS where 24% of OHCA-survivors (28% in 33 °C group/22% in 36 °C group, p=0.83) and 19% of the STEMI-controls reported symptoms of anxiety (OR 1.32; 95% CI (0.78-2.25), p=0.30). Depressive symptoms were reported by 13% of OHCA-survivors (equal in both intervention groups, p=0.96) and 8% of STEMI-controls (OR 1.76; 95% CI (0.82-3.79), p=0.15). Anxiety and depression among OHCA-survivors correlated to Health-Related Quality-of-Life, and subjectively reported cognitive deterioration by patient or observer. In addition, depression was associated with a poor neurological outcome.

Conclusion: One fourth of OHCA-survivors reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression at 6 months which was similar to STEMI-controls and previous normative data. Subjective cognitive problems were associated with an increased risk for psychological distress. Since psychological distress affects long-term prognosis of cardiac patients in general it should be addressed during follow-up of survivors with OHCA due to a cardiac cause. NCT01020916/NCT01946932.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; Patient outcome assessment; Resuscitation; Target temperature management.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / psychology*
  • Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest / therapy
  • Survivors / psychology*

Associated data