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Genet Med. 2008 Feb;10(2):117-20. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181612cc7.

Psychosocial impact of specialized cardiac genetic clinics for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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Agnes Ginges Centre for Molecular Cardiology, Centenary Institute, Sydney, Australia.



The diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an autosomal dominant chronic heart disease, can have significant implications, including increased risk of sudden death, exercise limitations, and risk of transmission to offspring. This study sought to describe the psychosocial factors associated with attending a specialty cardiac genetic clinic, and to determine whether these may be predictors of comorbid anxiety and depression in this population.


Questionnaires were sent to 184 individuals attending the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic. Questionnaires were anonymous and comprised demographics, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Patient Experience Scales, and Patient Satisfaction Scales.


Completed questionnaires were returned by 109 participants (59.2% response rate), of which 76.9% had a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, while 23.1% were at-risk relatives attending for clinical screening. Patient satisfaction scores were generally high to very high across all groups, though only 24% of HCM patients showed good adjustment to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and 10% had low worry about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy scores. Within the disease group, logistic regression analysis adjusting for age, gender, and education revealed adjustment to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and worry about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy scores to be significantly associated with anxiety, while adjustment scores and location of patient follow-up (i.e., Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy clinic or another cardiologist) to be significantly associated with depression scores.


HCM patients who attend specialized cardiac genetic clinics are better adjusted and worry less, than those who do not attend. An integrated approach, including a genetic counselor, is important in the management of HCM families.

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