cardiac rehabilitation, perceived control, posttraumatic stress disorder, quality of life



  1. Doerfler, Leonard A. PhD
  2. Paraskos, John A. MD
  3. Piniarski, Lori MA


PURPOSE: This study examined whether psychological variables were associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms 3 to 6 months after myocardial infarction.


METHODS: The sample included 52 patients with myocardial infarction. A structured interview was used to obtain information about PTSD symptoms, quality of life, and ratings of perceived control, danger, and predictability, as well as information about stressful events that occurred during hospitalization.


RESULTS: Four patients (7.7%) met criteria for the diagnosis of PTSD. Elevated PTSD scores were associated with poorer quality of life (r = -0.32 to -0.79). Lower perceived control was associated with higher PTSD symptom scores (r = -0.30 to -0.52). Finally, PTSD scores were significantly correlated with the number of times patients were readmitted to the hospital (r = 0.35-0.57).


CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 8% of patients experienced PTSD 3 to 6 months following MI. Increasing levels of PTSD symptoms were correlated with poorer quality of life. Perceived lack of control during the MI and multiple hospitalizations may be related to the severity of PTSD symptoms.