Depression and congestive heart failure

Thomas P. Guck, Gary N. Elsasser, Michael G. Kavan, Eugene J. Barone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The prevalence rates of depression in congestive heart failure patients range from 24%-42%. Depression is a graded, independent risk factor for readmission to the hospital, functional decline, and mortality in patients with congestive heart failure. Physicians can assess depression by using the SIG E CAPS + mood mnemonic, or any of a number of easily administered and scored self-report inventories. Cognitive-behavior therapy is the preferred psychological treatment. Cognitive-behavior therapy emphasizes the reciprocal interactions among physiology, environmental events, thoughts, and behaviors, and how these may be altered to produce changes in mood and behavior. Pharmacologically, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are recommended, whereas the tricyclic antidepressants are not recommended for depression in congestive heart failure patients. The combination of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with cognitive-behavior therapy is often the most effective treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalCongestive Heart Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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