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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Psychological interventions for coronary heart disease

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (65th percentile)

Mentioned by

32 tweeters
1 Facebook page
1 Wikipedia page


131 Dimensions

Readers on

562 Mendeley
Psychological interventions for coronary heart disease
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002902.pub4
Pubmed ID

Suzanne H Richards, Lindsey Anderson, Caroline E Jenkinson, Ben Whalley, Karen Rees, Philippa Davies, Paul Bennett, Zulian Liu, Robert West, David R Thompson, Rod S Taylor


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of death globally, although mortality rates are falling. Psychological symptoms are prevalent for people with CHD, and many psychological treatments are offered following cardiac events or procedures with the aim of improving health and outcomes. This is an update of a Cochrane systematic review previously published in 2011. To assess the effectiveness of psychological interventions (alone or with cardiac rehabilitation) compared with usual care (including cardiac rehabilitation where available) for people with CHD on total mortality and cardiac mortality; cardiac morbidity; and participant-reported psychological outcomes of levels of depression, anxiety, and stress; and to explore potential study-level predictors of the effectiveness of psychological interventions in this population. We updated the previous Cochrane Review searches by searching the following databases on 27 April 2016: CENTRAL in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ovid), and CINAHL (EBSCO). We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psychological interventions compared to usual care, administered by trained staff, and delivered to adults with a specific diagnosis of CHD. We selected only studies estimating the independent effect of the psychological component, and with a minimum follow-up of six months. The study population comprised of adults after: a myocardial infarction (MI), a revascularisation procedure (coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)), and adults with angina or angiographically defined coronary artery disease (CAD). RCTs had to report at least one of the following outcomes: mortality (total- or cardiac-related); cardiac morbidity (MI, revascularisation procedures); or participant-reported levels of depression, anxiety, or stress. Two review authors independently screened titles and abstracts of all references for eligibility. A lead review author extracted study data, which a second review author checked. We contacted study authors to obtain missing information. This review included 35 studies which randomised 10,703 people with CHD (14 trials and 2577 participants added to this update). The population included mainly men (median 77.0%) and people post-MI (mean 65.7%) or after undergoing a revascularisation procedure (mean 27.4%). The mean age of participants within trials ranged from 53 to 67 years. Overall trial reporting was poor, with around a half omitting descriptions of randomisation sequence generation, allocation concealment procedures, or the blinding of outcome assessments. The length of follow-up ranged from six months to 10.7 years (median 12 months). Most studies (23/35) evaluated multifactorial interventions, which included therapies with multiple therapeutic components. Ten studies examined psychological interventions targeted at people with a confirmed psychopathology at baseline and two trials recruited people with a psychopathology or another selecting criterion (or both). Of the remaining 23 trials, nine studies recruited unselected participants from cardiac populations reporting some level of psychopathology (3.8% to 53% with depressive symptoms, 32% to 53% with anxiety), 10 studies did not report these characteristics, and only three studies excluded people with psychopathology.Moderate quality evidence showed no risk reduction for total mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77 to 1.05; participants = 7776; studies = 23) or revascularisation procedures (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.11) with psychological therapies compared to usual care. Low quality evidence found no risk reduction for non-fatal MI (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.05), although there was a 21% reduction in cardiac mortality (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.98). There was also low or very low quality evidence that psychological interventions improved participant-reported levels of depressive symptoms (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.27, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.15; GRADE = low), anxiety (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.38 to -0.09; GRADE = low), and stress (SMD -0.56, 95% CI -0.88 to -0.24; GRADE = very low).There was substantial statistical heterogeneity for all psychological outcomes but not clinical outcomes, and there was evidence of small-study bias for one clinical outcome (cardiac mortality: Egger test P = 0.04) and one psychological outcome (anxiety: Egger test P = 0.012). Meta-regression exploring a limited number of intervention characteristics found no significant predictors of intervention effects for total mortality and cardiac mortality. For depression, psychological interventions combined with adjunct pharmacology (where deemed appropriate) for an underlying psychological disorder appeared to be more effective than interventions that did not (β = -0.51, P = 0.003). For anxiety, interventions recruiting participants with an underlying psychological disorder appeared more effective than those delivered to unselected populations (β = -0.28, P = 0.03). This updated Cochrane Review found that for people with CHD, there was no evidence that psychological treatments had an effect on total mortality, the risk of revascularisation procedures, or on the rate of non-fatal MI, although the rate of cardiac mortality was reduced and psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety, or stress) were alleviated; however, the GRADE assessments suggest considerable uncertainty surrounding these effects. Considerable uncertainty also remains regarding the people who would benefit most from treatment (i.e. people with or without psychological disorders at baseline) and the specific components of successful interventions. Future large-scale trials testing the effectiveness of psychological therapies are required due to the uncertainty within the evidence. Future trials would benefit from testing the impact of specific (rather than multifactorial) psychological interventions for participants with CHD, and testing the targeting of interventions on different populations (i.e. people with CHD, with or without psychopathologies).

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 32 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 562 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 561 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 84 15%
Student > Bachelor 76 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 56 10%
Researcher 48 9%
Unspecified 34 6%
Other 117 21%
Unknown 147 26%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 136 24%
Nursing and Health Professions 80 14%
Psychology 62 11%
Unspecified 34 6%
Social Sciences 20 4%
Other 62 11%
Unknown 168 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 October 2021.
All research outputs
of 19,515,384 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,948 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 278,989 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 234 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,515,384 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,948 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 27.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 278,989 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 234 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 65% of its contemporaries.