Treating Depression May Benefit Heart Failure Patients
Heart failure is a common heart disease that affects many older adults in the United States. Surprisingly, about half of these patients also develop depression over time. This is due to many factors, such as returning to the hospital and the fear of death. Unfortunately, even when doctors give patients follow-up treatments, they often don't check for depression.
Professor Bruce Rollman from Pittsburgh says that depression often goes unnoticed and untreated in heart failure patients. But heart failure and depression seem pretty unrelated, so can we blame the doctors for not checking?
Well, now that we know that depression and heart failure may often exist together, it's only good that doctors check for signs of depression in their patients and give them the care they need.
New research shows that depression care administered over the phone can improve the quality of life in patients recovering from heart failure.
Integrated depression care in heart failure patients
The Bottom Line
The purpose of the research is not merely to determine the effect of this blended collaborative care on heart failure patients. The ultimate aim is that healthcare experts can use this innovative approach broadly to help improve lives beyond just managing heart problems.
Importantly, the research shows that medical doctors and nurses can be trained on delivering depression care quite easily, and they can do so over the phone. And since telemedicine is becoming more mainstream, this shouldn't pose much of a challenge.