Persistent impaired emotional functioning in survivors of a myocardial infarction?

C. M. Plevier*, J. M. Mooy, P.J. Marang-van de Mheen, M. E.A. Stouthard, M. C. Visser, D. E. Grobbee, L. J. Gunning-Schepers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The quality of life (QoL) of survivors of a myocardial infarction (MI) remains lower than that of their peers long after the acute event. Previous research on this subject has indicated, however, that this difference might lessen somewhat over time for the dimension 'emotional functioning' (as measured by the sickness impact profile (SIP): A generic instrument for QoL). The present study explores this phenomenon further using two instruments that specifically measure emotional functioning i.e. the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HAD) and the heart patients psychological questionnaire (HPPQ). Ninety-nine participants of a large population-based cohort (the Rotterdam study), who had been admitted to the hospital because of an MI in the previous 6-60 months, and 101 reference subjects, without a history of infarction of heart or brain, from the same age and gender-groups, were interviewed twice (at 1- to 3-year time intervals). The results of the present study confirm earlier findings that the emotional functioning (in terms of 'anxiety', 'depression', 'well-being', 'feeling disabled', and 'displeasure') of MI survivors is impaired when compared to their unaffected peers. Moreover, they did not show any improvement in 'anxiety', 'depression', 'well-being' and 'displeasure' over time in the MI survivors. The results did, however, show that the difference between MI survivors and referents became less in time in the dimension 'feeling disabled'. This decrease was partly because MI survivors improved and partly because referents felt more disabled over time. One explanation for this might be that referents (51% aged 70 years and over) had difficulties in adapting emotionally to decreasing levels of physical functioning with increasing age, while the MI survivors tended to adjust to and accept the impairments they had contracted several years earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic phase
  • Emotional functioning
  • Myocardial infarction


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