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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.

This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.


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