The study aimed to assess the subjectively perceived need for additional general disease-oriented and psychotherapeutic care in patients with suspected cardiac disease and to investigate if the request for additional care is consistent with impairment of generic quality of life and the presence of psychosomatic risk factors.
Material and methods
Patients referred for cardiac stress testing because of suspected cardiac disease completed the assessment of the demand for additional psychological treatment (ADAPT) questionnaire, an assessment tool for counselling demand in patients with chronic illness, the SF-36 quality of life and the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) questionnaires.
The questionnaires were administered to 233 patients (age: 54.5 ± 13.4, 57.5 % male). Exclusive demand for disease-oriented counselling was indicated by 45.1 %, demand for psychotherapeutic counselling (exclusive or combined with disease-oriented demand) by 33.9 %. Almost all patients with psychotherapeutic demand (96.3 %) expressed also request for disease-oriented counselling. Patients with exclusive demand for disease-oriented counselling showed significantly lower scores in the emotional and physical functioning and role domains of the SF-36 than the norm population. Patients demanding psychotherapeutic counselling reported significantly lower scores in all SF-36 domains than the norm population. Psychotherapeutic demand was strongly associated with positive indicators for mental distress: SF-36 MH (OR: 4.1), SF-36 MCS (OR: 5.9), HADS anxiety (OR: 3.9), and HADS depression (OR: 3.0).
Our study shows that the patients’ request for additional care reflects impairment of generic health status and psychological risk load. This indicates that the assessment of subjectively perceived demand allows to screen for patients who are in need of psychosomatic care and motivated to participate in additional counselling and therapy.