Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that those suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS) experience various physical and psychological symptoms. Few studies have investigated the multi-factorial, holistic, unpleasant experience of distress that includes physical, psychological, social, and spiritual factors among this patient population while still hospitalized. Aim: To describe the level of distress among patients hospitalized with ACS and its association with demographic and clinical factors and mortality. Study Design: The study conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional survey. Methods: The Acute Coronary Syndrome Israel Study is a national, biennial registry, enrolling all patients with ACS admitted to cardiac intensive care or cardiology wards in Israel within a 2-month period. Demographic and clinical data were retrieved from an electronic database. Distress was measured by the Distress Thermometer. Nurses collected distress data directly from patients before discharge. Results: Nine hundred ninety participants (50.6% response rate) were surveyed. Mean age was 62.8 (SD = 12.5). Mean distress level was 4.8 (SD = 3.45) out of 10. The most frequently reported area of distress was physical, followed by emotional. Practical and family problems were less frequent. Emotional distress was found to differ based on educational level, marital status, smoking history, and previous medical history. Distress did not predict 7- or 30-day mortality. Conclusions: Respondents with ACS were in moderate distress. It is recommended that those at increased risk receive increased monitoring of emotional distress while still in hospital. Further studies should investigate this holistic view of distress among the ACS population using a variety of methods and methodologies.
- acute coronary syndrome
- cardiac intensive care unit