Polaris Research Finds that Most Cardiac Patients Welcome Depression Assessment as Part of Routine Care

Langhorne, PA (March 30, 2011)– Patients with heart disease who were asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire that assessed their emotional status viewed it as a positive addition to the care they received, according to findings from a Polaris Health Directions study that ran from 2007 to 2009.

Challenging the assumption that patients do not like to complete lengthy assessments, Polaris research revealed that patients considered the questionnaire to be an indication of holistic, superior care and felt it was evidence that their medical team cared about their overall quality of life.

Using a behavioral health outcomes management system normed on a cardiac patient population, Polaris collected data from 1,000 cardiac patients being treated at Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City, at two cardiac centers that are part of the Sutter Health System in San Francisco, Calif., at the Albert Einstein Cardiac Rehab Center in Philadelphia, Pa, and at the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia, in Pa. The subjects completed a 20-minute assessment to measure the presence of depression and other psychosocial factors that could negatively impact health outcomes. It also included questions regarding their opinion of psychosocial assessments as a routine part of their care.

The majority—57 percent—responded that they were “glad” to take the assessment because they wanted their cardiologists to know how they are doing emotionally, and an additional forty-two percent reported they “didn’t mind” answering these questions. Less than 1 percent felt the assessment was inappropriate for cardiac patients.

As evidence mounts regarding the significant benefit of screening for and addressing depression among cardiac patients, these findings help illustrate the feasibility of doing so. The technology used for this study, Polaris-CV (cardiovascular), was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health. A powerful system that automates and simplifies the screening and monitoring process, Polaris-CV encompasses the best practices of outcomes management: predictive analytics; real-time reporting at the individual and aggregate level; and actionable data for treatment planning and patient monitoring.

For more information on this study or Polaris-CV, send an e-mail to moreinfo@polarishealth.com. Follow us on Facebook.


This project was supported by 5R44MH060535 from the National Institute on Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.