PURPOSE: High rates of depression and anxiety are reported among patients who have experienced spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) but the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate symptoms of PTSD in women who have experienced SCAD.METHODS: This cross-sectional pilot study included 14 female SCAD patients, mean age of 51 yr, who responded to standardized psychosocial questionnaires at a median of 35 mo post-SCAD. Patients were identified by cardiologists as having had a SCAD event and were concurrently invited to participate in a psychosocial group for SCAD survivors.RESULTS: Participants reported current symptoms of stress (93%), insomnia (57%), anxiety (71%), depression (36%), and PTSD (43%). Eight of the 11 women who reported having a mental health history (72.7%) indicated that their symptoms were related to having experienced SCAD. Health-related quality of life and social support were comparable with other all-female cardiac samples. Patterns of perceived control were more similar to those of patients with cancer than other cardiac patients in that SCAD patients ranked "chance" as more likely than "self-control" to impact medical outcomes.CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of PTSD symptoms in this first-known assessment of post-traumatic stress among SCAD patients is concerning. The unexpected nature of SCAD and lack of known treatment options may play a role in patient distress. Future research is needed to accurately estimate rates of PTSD after SCAD and assess the benefits of treatment.
View details for DOI 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000460
View details for PubMedID 31343583