Background. Patients who present with chest pain but have
normal coronary angiography and who
are told by their cardiologist that they do not have heart disease, have
a poor symptomatic,
psychological and quality of life outcome and remain concerned about a
serious cause of their
symptoms. They frequently complain they have not had enough information.
The study aimed to
test the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief psychological
intervention based on cognitive behavioural principles.
Methods. Consecutive patients with chest pain and normal
angiograms were assessed and invited to
take part in a randomized controlled evaluation. The intervention
consisted of an individualized
information and discussion session by a specially trained cardiac
nurse, together with a handout and
cassette providing information and advice and telephone follow-up to
discuss progress, answer questions and reiterate advice.
Results. The treatment proved to be unacceptable to some
patients and there was no evidence of efficacy.
Conclusions. Implications for the preparation of patients
undergoing angiography and for the
timing and delivery of information and advice following a negative
result are discussed.