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Health Psychol. 1999 Sep;18(5):506-19.

A meta-analysis of psychoeduational programs for coronary heart disease patients.

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  • 1Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


In a meta-analysis of 37 studies, the effects of psychoeducational (health education and stress management) programs for coronary heart disease patients were examined. The results suggest that these programs yielded a 34% reduction in cardiac mortality; a 29% reduction in recurrence of myocardial infarction (MI); and significant (p < .025) positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, smoking behavior, physical exercise, and eating habits. No effects of psychoeducational programs were found in regard to coronary bypass surgery, anxiety, or depression. The results also suggest that cardiac rehabilitation programs that were successful on proximal targets (systolic blood pressure, smoking behavior, physical exercise, emotional distress) were more effective on distal targets (cardiac mortality and MI recurrences) than programs without success on proximal targets.

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