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An estimated 40 to 65 percent of patients with a history of heart attack suffer from depression, which can worsen their disability from heart disease and increase their risk of dying threefold within six months.

That’s why Texas Health Springwood Center Southwest Fort Worth and Texas Health Springwood Center Allen offer a unique intensive outpatient program tailored to meet the needs of heart attack survivors and other patients with coronary heart disease who become depressed.

The adult Cardiac Intensive Outpatient Program, one of many offered through Texas Health Springwood, addresses symptoms such as insomnia, appetite changes, social withdrawal, fear of death or adverse cardiac incident, hopelessness, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Studies have shown that 80 percent of patients with a co-occurrence of depression and heart disease improve if all their symptoms are treated with a combination of anti-depressants and individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy.

The program involves a time commitment of three hours a day, three days a week and is designed to help participants balance their treatment requirements with work, education and home-life schedules.

Patients may self-refer or be referred to the center by a physician, therapist, or an Employee Assistance Program counselor. The American Hospital Association recommends that all cardiac patients should be screened for depression.

Texas Health Springwood Hospital and Texas Health Springwood Centers all provide free screenings and assessments Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, please call 817-355-7771.