Depression Is Associated with Reduced Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Completion Rates: A SYSTEMATIC LITERATURE REVIEW and META-ANALYSIS

Brooke L. Edwards, Sumner J Sydeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Depression is associated with recurrent cardiac events and death in patients with coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure. Furthermore, depression may be associated with reduced completion of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR), an empirically supported treatment for patients with coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure that reduces recurrent coronary events and cardiac mortality. The goal of the current systematic review and meta-analysis was to explore the association between depression and outpatient CR completion. Method: A systematic literature review cross-referenced 3 electronic databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Dissertation Abstracts International) from inception through February 15, 2015. Studies quantifying an association between depression and outpatient CR completion were identified for review. A random-effects model was used to pool quantitative data, moderators were tested, and publication bias was analyzed. Results: Seventeen studies with 19 independent samples consisting of 30 586 cardiac patients were included in the meta-analysis. A moderate inverse relationship between depression and outpatient CR completion was observed (g = -0.44; 95% CI, -0.59 to -0.29), indicating that depressed CR patients were significantly less likely to complete their prescribed CR programs. No significant moderator variables were identified. A minor amount of publication bias was detected. Conclusion: Depression is associated with reduced outpatient CR completion rates. Future research should focus on attendance interventions for depressed CR patients, as completion of outpatient CR reduces cardiac and all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • depression
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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