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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Cardiovascular Disease & Depression: The Heart Cries Without Tears

by Jeremy Mirsky, PhD 4 CE Credits

Major depressive disorder (MDD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) represent the two leading causes of disability worldwide. The prevalence of depressive disorders in patients with CVD is markedly higher than in the general population. Further, MDD is associated with poorer cardiac outcomes. However, in routine cardiac care, depressive disorders are often underdiagnosed. This is significant as MDD is not only correlated with poorer prognosis in cardiac care, but also represents a risk factor for the development of heart disease. It is essential that clinicians and allied healthcare providers be proficient in the diagnosis and treatment of depression in this population. This course promotes an increased recognition of at-risk patients through a discussion of the prevalence of depressive disorders in CVD and a review of the hypothesized mechanisms for the CVD-depression relationship. Specifically, difficulties in the assessment and treatment (individual and systemic) of depression in this population are identified and clinical methods to overcome these barriers are provided, including an empirical foundation of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions.

Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 4 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • The Relationship Between CVD and Depressive Symptoms
  • Congestive Heart Failure and Depression
  • The Proposed Underlying Mechanisms
  • Assessment
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Promoting Increased Awareness and Recognition
  • Treatment Efficacy Literature
  • Therapeutic Strategies and Themes
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Summary
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify three potential mechanisms of the depression - cardiovascular disease relationship
  • Recognize three potential consequences of untreated depression in this population
  • Indicate four difficulties with diagnosis and treatment in this population and review methods to overcome these difficulties
  • Discuss three appropriate psychosocial strategies and one appropriate pharmacological intervention strategy