Psychosocial risk factors are increasingly being recognised as predictors of health outcomes, including mortality, in individuals with cardiac conditions[#grewal-k-gravely-witte-s-stewart-de-et-al.-2011] and can also influence adherence to recommended treatment.[#richardson-lg.-2003]
A psychosocial assessment helps the clinician to provide individual, focused interventions and to identify barriers to a patient's self-care. Including psychosocial interventions to standard cardiac treatment regimens reduces mortality, psychological distress and certain risk factors in individuals with cardiac conditions.[#aldcroft-s-taylor-f-blackstock-f-et-al.-2011]
Psychosocial interventions should be tailored to individual and caregiver needs according to issues identified in the psychosocial assessment. If the clinician considers that the particular psychosocial intervention falls outside his or her skill level or qualification, the patient should be referred to a suitably qualified healthcare colleague for further review.
Psychosocial counselling should be made available to all individuals with a cardiac condition and their families in order to reduce the impact of psychological distress. Different types of distress will require different types of treatment. Psychotherapy for emotional and behavioural problems may be provided by psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists, and counsellors.