Anxiety, depression, and healthcare utilization 1 year after cardiac surgery

Nicholas Curcio, Lindsey Philpot, Monica Bennett, Joost Felius, Mark B. Powers, James Edgerton, Ann Marie Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: While it is known that depression and anxiety influence cardiac surgery recovery, the mechanisms of such remain unclear. We examined the influence of anxiety and/or depression on health care utilization and quality of life (QOL) in the 12 months following cardiac surgery. Methods: (N = 306) patients at two North Texas hospitals were assessed pre-operatively, at 30 days, and one year post-operatively using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Quality of Life measures. Patient healthcare utilization metrics included length of stay, outpatient visits, hospital stays, emergency department (ED) visits, and home healthcare. Results: At 12 months post-surgery, anxious patients sustained more outpatient visits (p = 0.0129) than those without anxiety. Depressed patients differed significantly from non-depressed patients with significantly lower QOL (p < 0.01), as well as more readmissions, ED visits, home healthcare use, and a longer length of stay (all p < 0.05). Conclusions: Depressed patients utilized more expensive healthcare services and had lower QOL at 12 months follow up compared to non-depressed patients. Targeting depressed patients for intervention may foster a faster recovery and reduce excessive healthcare burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Anxiety
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Depression
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Surgical recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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