AHRQ seeks comments on post-acute coronary syndrome depression

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is seeking comments from healthcare professionals and the general public on the topic of post-acute coronary syndrome (ACS) depression.

The AHRQ is accepting comments until 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on June 15 on the following two questions:

  1. What is the accuracy of depression screening instruments or screening strategies compared to a validated criterion standard for post-ACS patients?
  2. What are the comparative safety and effectiveness of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic depression treatments in post-ACS patients?

The agency defines ACS as clinical symptoms compatible with acute myocardial ischemia and includes unstable angina, non-ST-segment elevation MI and ST-segment elevation MI.

The AHRQ cited data that found as many as 65 percent of patients experience symptoms of depression after an MI. However, it said there is no evidence on how to screen patients for depression following an ACS.

To answer the above questions, the AHRQ plans on evaluating the following interventions: self-administered screening tools for depression; medical therapy; psychotherapy; coordinated care; and other treatments such as aerobic exercise, cardiac rehabilitation, education, stress management and psychosocial support.