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Depression and Quality of Life in Women After a Myocardial Infarction

White, Mary L. RN, APRN, BC; Groh, Carla J. PhD, APRN, BC

The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: March-April 2007 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 138-144

Background: Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of mortality and morbidity among women in the United States, resulting in 25,000 deaths annually. Despite this high mortality figure, most women survive. Although evidence suggests that depression is common after myocardial infarction (MI), there are limited data on how depression impacts women's recovery after their first event. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship between depression and quality of life in women after a first MI.

Method: A convenience sample of 27 women (mean age = 60.7 years) with first MI completed the study. Depression was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory, and quality of life was measured using the Short Form-36.

Results: The mean (SD) depression score was 9.4 (5.5), indicating mild to moderate depression. Depression had a significant negative correlation with the mental component summary of the Short Form-36 (r = −0.72, P = .0005) but not the physical component summary (r = −0.191, P = .360). In addition, subjects reported lower scores on 3 of the 8 Short Form-36 subscales when compared with national norms of persons experiencing a recent MI.

Implications: Many women continue to report mild to severe depression after MI, and depression seems to be related to some aspects of quality of life. Screening for depression and treating if symptoms are significant is one intervention for improving quality of life after MI.

Mary L. White, RN, APRN, BC Instructor, McAuley School of Nursing, University of Detroit-Mercy, Detroit, Mich and Doctoral Student, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.

Carla J. Groh, PhD, APRN, BC Associate Professor, McAuley School of Nursing, University of Detroit-Mercy, Detroit, Mich.

Corresponding author Mary L. White, RN, APRN, BC, 26690 Huntington Road, Huntington Woods, MI 48072 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.