Being hospitalized often causes psychological distress and compromises patients’ psychological well-being, thereby augmenting the burden of illness. The aim of this paper is to investigate two possible determinants of anxiety and depression among hospitalized cardiac patients, namely uncertainty in illness, and coping strategies, controlling for the perceived health-related quality of life, and distinguishing between borderline and pathological levels of anxiety and depression.
Data on anxiety, depression, coping style, uncertainty in illness and self-assessed quality of life concerning 200 cardiac inpatients from a university hospital were collected through validated questionnaires. A biprobit analysis, whose dependent variables are hospital anxiety and depression, was carried out.
Uncertainty in illness has a significant impact on the possibility of crossing the borderline level of both anxiety and depression. The coping strategy of Positive Reappraisal and Growth is inversely and significantly correlated to anxiety and depression, be it borderline or pathological; the Restraint Coping strategy is positively and significantly related to borderline anxiety.
The reduction of uncertainty in illness and the development of adequate coping strategies should be promoted in order to decrease the patients’ risk of crossing the borderline threshold of anxiety and depression.