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Herz. 2001 Aug;26(5):335-44.

[Psychocardiology today].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Klinikum der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.



The term "cardiopsychology" contains the scientific knowledge with regard to psychosocial factors of the emergence, the course, the rehabilitation and the illness processing (coping) of cardiac diseases.


Probably there is no psychosocial topic with so many presumably methodically high standing (namely representative prospective and controlled) long-term studies and so many reviews or metaanalyses as we have for cardiac diseases, particularly the coronary heart disease. The knowledge on cardiopsychology is extensive, incoherent and contradictory and in so far incalculable. A group of 38 international scientists came together 1998 and founded the "Status and Consensus Conference Cardiopsychology". The objective of the project is to systematize and evaluate the scientific knowledge about psychosocial factors affecting the etiology, development, rehabilitation of and coping with coronary heart diseases worldwide. The systematic reviews on the above mentioned subjects are intensively discussed and evaluated by all scientists involved in the status conferences. The reviews are finally published only after several revisions leading to a concurring consensus. This working process guarantees an extraordinary high standard of all resulting reviews. Thus the Public Health can be provided with a systematic knowledge basis. The reviews resulting from the status conferences are published as a special series in the publishing house Verlag für Akademische Schriften in Frankfurt, Germany. Besides all essentials are opened for the public and can be visited in the Internet:


The essay on hand gives a short historical summary of this field of research and then discusses the psychosocial research to the risk factor model. After this the type A model, the sociological research results and the researches to the illness behavior are discussed. Predictive factors of the disease and effects of psychological interventions were presented.


The following variables are worked out as meaningful in the practice: social inequality and chronic emotional stress at the workplace, vital exhaustion, anxiety and depression, negative emotions, familial and social support, coping mechanisms and psychological interventions.

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