The impact of pain and depression on recovery after coronary artery bypass grafting

Natalia E. Morone, Debra K. Weiner, Bea Herbeck Belnap, Jordan F. Karp, Sati Mazumdar, Patricia R. Houck, Fanyin He, Bruce L. Rollman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the relationship between pain and depression on recovery after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Methods: A secondary data analysis on 453 depressed and nondepressed post-CABG patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled, effectiveness trial of telephone-delivered collaborative care for depression. Outcome measures were collected from March 2004 to September 2007 and included pain, physical function, and mood symptoms. Results: Depressed patients (baseline Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) versus those without depression reported significantly worse pain scores on the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Bodily Pain Scale at baseline and up to 12 months post-CABG, p <.05. Among patients with depression, those who received collaborative care reported significantly better pain scores at each time point between 2 and 12 months post-CABG versus depressed patients randomized to the usual care control group, p <.05. Regardless of intervention status, depressed participants with at least moderate pain at baseline reported significantly lower functional status (measured by the Duke Activity Status Index) at 8 and 12 months versus depressed patients with none or mild pain, p <.05. Depressed patients with at least moderate pain at baseline were also significantly less likely to show improvement of depressive symptoms throughout the course of follow-up versus depressed patients with little or no pain, p <.05. These findings controlled for age, gender, education, race, comorbid conditions, and baseline pain diagnosis. Conclusions: Depression and pain seem to influence functional recovery post-CABG. The relationship between these two conditions and 12-month outcomes should be considered by clinicians when planning treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-625
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • CABG
  • collaborative care
  • depression
  • pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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