Psychological needs and mental health in women aged ≥ 65 years after cardiac surgery: An exploratory study

Ombretta Omodeo, Elena Fiabane, Ines Giorgi, Claudia Grandis, Alessandra Gualco, Monica Ceresa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Recent developments in cardiac care have led to an increase survival even among elderly cardiac patients. Previous studies showed that women have worse health related outcomes compared with men. The main aims of this study are to assess psychological needs and factors promoting mental health among women aged ≥ 65 years following heart surgery. Methods. 74 consecutive women aged ≥ 65 years and referred to a cardiac rehabilitation unit in Northern Italy after heart surgery were enrolled in this exploratory study. Psychological questionnaires exploring cognitive functioning, psychological needs, anxiety, depression, physical and mental health status, self-esteem were administered by a psychologist to each patient using a face-to-face interview. Results. The main areas of psychological needs reported by patients were relational and emotional support, assistance and treatment, information about diagnosis and future conditions and information concerning economic-insurance issues. Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that factors significantly associated with patients' mental health were anxiety (p = 0.01) and locus of control (p = 0.01). Conclusions. In order to improve older cardiac women's mental health after cardiac surgery is important to offer tailored rehabilitative interventions able to meet their specific needs such as the management of anxiety symptoms and loss of control, the need to regain the family role, the need of more information concerning the diagnosis and prognosis and emotional support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalMonaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Mental health
  • Older women
  • Psychological needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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