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Table 1 Iterative evidence review: literature used to guide development of an empirically based intervention to improve mood and cardiac outcomes in patients with CHD

From: The UPBEAT depression and coronary heart disease programme: using the UK medical research council framework to design a nurse-led complex intervention for use in primary care

Intervention should* Findings Conclusions in relation to new intervention
improve depression, quality of life and cardiac outcomes in patients with CHD NICE guideline (2009) [16] for depression with a chronic physical health problem recommends a stepped care model involving psychological therapy and/or pharmacotherapy. Two Cochrane reviews [17, 18] identify a range of psychological and pharmacological interventions; there is insufficient evidence to determine which elements are beneficial. Psychological interventions and SSRIs were found to improve depression but there was no effect on cardiac outcomes. No specific psychological approach was identified, but larger effect sizes were found for multimodal and collaborative care interventions. A subsequent well conducted trial in the USA[2] found that collaborative care improved depression and disease control in patients with CHD and/or diabetes. Collaborative care is intensive; our empirical work suggested only a minimal intervention would be feasible. A key ingredient of collaborative care is 'case management' (CM) [19]: a health worker follows up patients, assesses adherence, monitors progress, takes action when treatment is unsuccessful and delivers psychological support [20]. CM is a central aspect of the UK long-term conditions strategy [21] so it is familiar to PNs. CM allows personalised care, but the processes by which change is expected to occur should be specified.
help patients and clinicians to manage an individualised range of problems, including social problems The CHD and depression association is likely to be explained largely by behaviour [22, 23]. Behaviour change interventions for risk behaviours for CHD and depression have been delivered in primary care and shown benefit for smoking [24] and alcohol intake [25]. Not known if they are helpful for patients with CHD and depression. Current UK policy [26] promotes liaison between professionals and utilisation of existing resources to tackle depression and adverse health behaviours. Training in specific behaviour change techniques and identification of existing local resources, such as social clubs, advice agencies and therapy services, would provide PNs with a ‘toolkit’ of resources which they could tailor according to patient need and preference. Specification of interventions used will inform implementation and evaluation of the intervention.
be nurse-led and feasible for primary care Case managers are often nurses, but studies lack details concerning implementation and process [27]. Evidence-based behaviour change interventions, such as goal setting and action planning, have been identified for use in primary care [28]. Pilot work should be undertaken to understand which aspects of case management are effective in CHD patients with depression and which outcomes should be targeted.
  1. * We searched for high quality systematic reviews using the Cochrane Library, DARE and NICE guidelines and subsequent evidence using Medline, Embase and Psychinfo. Searches were performed iteratively to build upon initial findings.