Psychological interventions in cardiology - short-term motivational strategies
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The Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Institute of Cardiology
Anna Mierzyńska   

The Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Institute of Cardiology, Alpejska 42, 04-682 Warszawa, Poland
Submission date: 2017-01-09
Final revision date: 2017-05-03
Acceptance date: 2017-05-11
Publication date: 2017-06-28
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(2):15–24
Cardiovascular diseases are the most important cause of death in industrialized countries. They require long treatment and their prevention is a long-term effort at individual and social levels. Therefore more and more attention is drawn to the psychosocial processes and phenomena associated with people engagement in health harmful behaviour. The current state of medical and psychological knowledge allows the selection of several major research directions integrating these two areas within cardiology. These directions regard physiological mechanisms of the development of cardiovascular diseases, the impact of psychopathological symptoms on patients' functioning and psychological mechanisms associated with patient compliance. Studies in cardiac patients indicate the effectiveness of many psychological interventions. It has been proven that they have significant impact on the quality of life, a level of anxiety, symptoms of depression, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and mortality in cardiac patients. The main factor exerting influence on patients' coping with the treatment process and on their commitment to activities beneficial for their health is motivation. The importance of motivation process in the course and effects of treatment was the basis for development of an approach known as Motivational Interviewing (MI), which is an effective tool for promoting involvement of patients in the treatment process. Another effective approach is also a short-term Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). It allows to cooperate with people in various contexts, including somatic patients, both during hospitalization and outpatient treatment. It is worth noting that the situation in the field of psychocardiology is steadily improving.