BACKGROUND: Given the role of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in morbidity and mortality of cardiac patients, the present study was conducted to determine the relationship between the perception of heart disease and severity of PTSD symptoms.
METHODS: Sampled using simple random sampling, 202 cardiovascular patients (50.5% women) were selected and included in this cross-sectional study. The patients admitted to a hospital from January to May 2017 in western Iran were selected and asked to complete the self-report demographic and cardiac risk factors inventory, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Brief-IPQ), and National Stressful Events Survey PTSD Short Scale (NSESSS) checklist. The results were analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis.
RESULTS: The mean age of patients was 53.5 ± 11.9 years. The results of the correlation coefficient showed a significant relationship between all the components of illness perception, except personal and treatment control, with PTSD (P < 0.05). The regression model could predict 22.5% of PTSD variance and the greatest role was for the emotional representation (P = 0.002) and female sex (P = 0.008).
CONCLUSION: The perception of cardiovascular patients of the cognitive and emotional components of the disease, especially in women, plays a significant role in experiencing the symptoms of PTSD. Thus, health professionals have to monitor all these components, especially the patient's perceptions and emotional reactions, and to come up with proper and timely interventions for patients at risk to control the adverse effects of PTSD after cardiovascular events.