cardiac rehabilitation, myocardial ischemia, psychosocial risk factors, stress management, women



  1. Claesson, Maria MS
  2. Birgander, Lisbeth Slunga MD, PhD
  3. Lindahl, Bernt MD, PhD
  4. Nasic, Salmir MSci
  5. Astrom, Monica MD, PhD
  6. Asplund, Kjell MD, PhD
  7. Burell, Gunilla PhD


PURPOSE: This randomized controlled study aimed to evaluate the effects on psychosocial variables of a 1-year group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management program developed specifically for women with ischemic heart disease.


METHODS: The present explanatory (per protocol) analyses include 80 women who were randomized to a 1-year cognitive-behavioral stress management program and 86 who were randomized to usual care (age = 35-77 years). Data were obtained before randomization and after 1 year, when the intervention group had completed the program.


RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and usual care groups in the psychosocial endpoints at randomization. Both groups improved in all psychosocial variables during the 1-year study period, but the rate of improvement was significantly greater in the intervention group for self-rated stress behavior (P = .006) and vital exhaustion (P = .03). Although changes were in favor of the treatment group also for depressive mood and quality of life, the rates of improvement between the 2 groups did not reach statistical significance (P = .23 and P = .10, respectively).


CONCLUSION: A 1-year cognitive-behavioral stress management program designed specifically for women improved psychological well-being in some aspects in comparison with usual care.