The course of depression 10-weeks post-acute coronary syndrome: Assessment using the cardiac depression visual analogue scale Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated depressed mood post-acute coronary syndrome in an Australian sample using the Cardiac Depression Visual Analogue Scale (CD-VAS), which was developed to assess the depression-related symptoms of reduced pleasure, memory, activity, future pessimism, increased irritation and sleep problems. The Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) and a demographic medical questionnaire were administered at 2 weeks post-ACS to an initial sample of 13 female and 45 male participants whose mean age was 59.16 (SD=11.13) years (range 38-79). Depressed and non-depressed participants, determined by the CDS, then kept a CD-VAS diary between 2 and 12 weeks. 32 participants kept the diary for the entire 10 weeks. Total CD-VAS scores remained elevated in the depressed group for the entire period. The groups differed on the Pleasure, Memory and Future items for a total of 6, 6 and 5 weeks, respectively, and differed on the Activity item only at 1, 3 and 5 weeks. No group differences were seen in the Irritation or Sleep items. Within the depressed group, the only CD-VAS items that differed from each other across time were Irritation and Activity. Further, the Sleep, Irritation and Activity items had a significant time effect. These results indicate that although overall depression, as measured by the CD-VAS, remained elevated in the depressed group, there were key differences in recovery rates of specific depression-related symptoms. These differences could be useful indicators in the treatment of depression post-ACS.

publication date

  • August 2008