Coronary heart disease can be challenging for patients to manage. Usually it means that people have to monitor their diet, take daily medications, increase their exercise and make other lifestyle changes. Making and sustaining these changes requires a lot of motivation. It is not uncommon for people who have experienced a cardiac event to also experience low mood and often high levels of anxiety, particularly if they have had a heart attack or heart surgery.
Psychology can help people to cope and to self-manage their health in the context of cardiac illness. Assessing patient perceptions of their condition is an important starting point so that inaccurate perceptions can be addressed before moving on to identify and work on the barriers to self-care in order to prevent further events and re-admissions to hospital.