Cardiac Behavior Therapy (CBT)
| ||Stress is the strongest predictor of future cardiac events for individuals with heart disease.|
| ||People with high stress are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.|
| ||Anger doubles the risk of second heart attacks.|
| ||Worry about social conditions, health and personal finances increases risk of coronary heart disease.|
| ||Emotional stress is more predictive of death from cardiovascular disease than smoking.|
| ||People unable to manage their stress have a 40% higher death rate than non-stress individuals.|
| ||Sudden cardiac death is up to 6 times more likely among men who complain of high anxiety than those who are calmer.|
|What is Cardiac Behavior Therapy?|
Cardiac Behavior Therapy (CBT) refers to the treatment of patients who need to learn new skills or change behavior in order to maximize their cardiac and cardio-vascular functioning. CBT includes teaching breathing and relaxation techniques, mental relaxation techniques such as mental focusing, imagery and hypnotherapy, and cognitive techniques of managing stress through changes of attitudes and thought patterns. In addition, therapy may focus on other health related behavior changes that may be indicated, such as salt intake restriction, alcohol reduction, weight loss, exercise or smoking cessation. Counseling around areas of stress, such as work or family stress, and problem solving skills are part of CBT.
The Center for Educational and Personal Development (CEPD Psychological Services) provides behavior health therapy for cardiac patients whose stress, job, family or marital conflicts aggravate medical problems or interfere with medical treatment. Our health psychology program helps patients to realize the importance of the mind-body connection, learn how personal problems can exacerbate cardiac problems, and learn what to do to reduce health problems.
HeartMath is a behavioral psychophysiological feedback software system that we use in order to teach physiological relaxation skills. Our system measures heart rate variability, respiration and pulse while the patient is experiencing either a stressed state or a relaxed state.
The feedback, in the form of a graph on the computer screen, provides a live visual display of these variables. As you learn relaxation skills, the wave appears more regular. The software also allows you to play "video games" as a training method. Since the heart is the most powerful oscillator in the body, as the heart gets more in rhythm, it makes other systems in your body more in rhythm and therefore creates a healthier state for your whole body.
Other forms of biofeedback allow us to train you in regulating your respiration, blood pressure, general muscular tension, pain and other areas of functioning. These behavioral training devices focus on enabling you to learn to reduce the effects of stress on your body.
|How Can We Help Cardiac Patients?|
We teach the patient the skills to deal with the following cardiac related problems:
| ||Hypertension: Behavioral strategies to reduce blood pressure|
| ||Pre-surgery/procedure preparation: Behavioral strategies to reduce anxiety and enhance the surgical outcome|
| ||Post-surgery/procedure: Provide stress management and relaxation training, counseling for depression, anger management, and for lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and smoking|
| ||Stress and anger: Provide stress and anger management skills, self-regulation and alternative coping strategies|
| ||Chest pain: Reduce psychogenic complaints when all tests are negative with stress training, relaxation, diet, exercise, smoking cessation|
| ||Congestive heart failure: Acceptance of lifestyle changes, e.g. salt restriction, weight loss, exercise, rest|
| ||Arrhythmias (palpitations, fast heartbeat, etc.): Respiration training, relaxation training, imagery, entrainment|
| ||Weight and smoking: Reduce weight and quit smoking|
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CARDIAC INTERVENTION PROGRAM