Telephone Intervention to Reduce Anxiety Issues

Generally, it is common for cardiac patients to suffer mental illness like panic attacks, anxiety and major depression. But, a recent study conducted among these people showed that some improvement can be brought about in their mental wellness with the help of a low-intensity telephone intervention as compared to using traditional treatment plans. This method was not only proven in treating mental illness, but it was also helpful in fighting against cancer too.

Major depression:

Experts say that major depression can attack a person at any point of time in his/her life. But, the symptoms associated with depression will worsen, when the people face some co-existing health problems. For instance, after a heart failure, patients become more prone to feelings of anxiety or depression. When talking about major depression, it goes beyond just feeling moody or sad. It can turn out to be a physical or mental problem as it will take over the mind. Even, it can hinder in day-to-day activities in life, like the person can experience difficulty eating, working, and sleeping. Even, the anxiety issues can put a strain on relationships too.

The good news:

Even though, the above-mentioned warnings are given by experts, they also add a good news that depression can be treated. The earlier, the patients seek medical help, easier will be the chance to control the related issues. Traditional treatments include therapies like electroconvulsive, interpersonal and talk therapy and there are also anti-depressant medications too. In some cases, the anxiety issues can be debilitating, such that it cannot be treated with medicines.

Low-intensity collaborative care intervention for treatment:

Some clinical trials were conducted between the years 2010 and 2013 to find whether low-intensity treatments can be effective as compared to conventional methods used for treating this condition. A study, authored by Jeff Huffman, MD from the Harvard Medical school under the psychiatry department. He was keen in determining whether low-intensity collaborative care invention can be useful in treating panic attacks, anxiety and major depression.


This study, conducted by Jeff Huffman lasted for about 24 weeks, wherein some patients were given traditional care, while some of them were made to participate in telephone intervention. The group treated under traditional care, were managed by a physician, while the other group was managed by a social worked co-ordinator.

The results:

When a comparison was done between the two groups of patients with anxiety issues, the result was that those who got telephone intervention showed better functioning, lowered levels of anxiety, improved depression and they also experienced a better quality of life after six months. Also, this group also had a longer remission periods as compared to the other group.


The purpose of the study was to find whether heart patients can be relieved of their anxiety issues through telephone intervention as compared to physical help or medicines for the same. It was found that an extended care for these patients can relieve their anxiety and major depression. As the phone calls are not intensive and time-consuming, this treatment can be easily applied to real-life situations to bring about an improvement in patients with mental health issues. 

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