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  1. DiSante, Jessica L. DNP, CRNP, BSN, RN, BS
  2. Bires, Angela Macci EdD, MPM, RT(N), CNMT, FSMMI-TS
  3. Cline, Thomas W. PhD, MBA
  4. Waterstram-Rich, Kristen MS, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. The World Bank and the World Health Organization predict that depression and coronary heart disease will be the largest causes of global health burden and disability by the year 2020. Studies have demonstrated that patients with CAD experience depression at a higher rate than the general population. Because of this connection, it is critical to recognize depression and manage depression effectively for people with CAD. Studies have also provided evidence that identifying and treating depression in patients early after a myocardial infarction improve clinical outcomes. In addition, a number of studies have discussed the negative effects that can occur from untreated depression in these patients. The cited negative effects include mortality, recurrent myocardial events, and a worse quality of life. This article discusses the results of a research that was completed at a cardiology office using a retroactive medical record review that focused on outpatients with cardiac diseases. The primary aim of the study was to collect data using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a public domain screening tool. This research was intended to provide evidence that would support using the PHQ-9 as a standard depression screening tool for patients post-myocardial infarction. By recognizing the symptoms of depression, the patient would then be treated accordingly.