DenHeart: Differences in physical and mental health across cardiac diagnoses at hospital discharge

Selina Kikkenborg Berg, Trine Bernholdt Rasmussen, Lars Thrysøe, Astrid Lauberg, Britt Borregaard, Anne Vinggaard Christensen, Ola Ekholm, Knud Juel, Jette Rolf Svanholm

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26 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To describe: (i) differences in patient reported physical and mental health outcomes at hospital discharge between a) cardiac diagnostic groups and b) cardiac patients and a national representative reference population and to describe (ii) in-hospital predicting factors for patient reported outcomes.

METHODS: A national cross-sectional survey combined with national register data. From April 2013 to April 2014 all patients (n=34,564) discharged or transferred from one of five Danish Heart Centres were invited to participate. 16,712 patients (51%) responded; 67% male and mean age 64years. All diagnostic groups were represented similar to real life proportions. Patient reported outcome measures included: SF-12, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, EQ-5D, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, HeartQoL and Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale.

RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found in all patient reported outcomes across diagnostic groups. Listed from worst to best outcomes were heart failure, heart valve disease, ischemic heart disease, infectious heart disease, arrhythmia, congenital heart disease and heart transplant. Also "observation for cardiac disease" scored poorly on some aspects such as anxiety and treatment control. Compared to the reference population, cardiac patients had lower physical and mental health scores. Predicting factors for worse outcomes across diagnoses were female sex, older age, being unmarried, planned admission, longer hospital stay, and higher co-morbidity score.

CONCLUSIONS: This large nationwide study finds significant differences in patient reported outcomes across cardiac diagnostic groups, however the differences were small and did not reach minimal important difference. The total population of cardiac patients had significant and clinically relevant poorer scores on mental and physical health than the reference population. Predicting factors for poor outcomes were identified. It is the first study comparing all diagnostic groups within cardiology and it provides important benchmarks between diagnostic groups and future comparisons. This knowledge may help clinicians make better decisions about post-hospital care and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Journal Article


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