Organization of psychological activities in italian cardiac rehabilitation and prevention Survey on the implementation of guidelines for psychological activities in cardiac rehabilitation and prevention


  • Marinella Sommaruga | Servizio di Psicologia, Fondazione Europea di Ricerca Biomedica, Cernusco S/N (MI), Italy.
  • Roberto Tramarin Unità di Riabilitazione Cardiaca, Fondazione Europea di Ricerca Biomedica, Cernusco S/N (MI), Italy.
  • Gianluigi Balestroni Servizio di Psicologia, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri - IRCCS, Istituto Scientifico di Veruno (NO), Italy.
  • Ornella Bettinardi Servizio di Psicologia, San Giacomo Ospedale Privato Accreditato UU.OO. Omnicomprensive di Medicina Riabilitativa, Ponte dell’Olio (PC), Italy.
  • Massimo Miglioretti Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy.
  • Ombretta Omodeo Servizio di Psicologia, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri - IRCCS, Istituto Scientifico di Pavia (PV), Italy.
  • Antonia Pierobon Servizio di Psicologia, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri - IRCCS, Istituto Scientifico di Montescano (PV), Italy.


The present study was developed as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the state of the art of knowledge and implementation of the Italian Guidelines for psychological activities in Cardiac Rehabilitation, published in 2003 by the Working Group of Psychology of the Italian Society of Cardiac Rehabilitation (GICR). Methods. A questionnaire was designed to collect detailed information on facilities, organization, staffing level, professional background and activities carried out by psychologists working in Italian Cardiac Rehabilitation Units (CRU). Out of 144 Italian CRU (inventory 2004), 107 reported structured psychological programmes. The questionnaires were sent by conventional mail to the referring psychologist of these 107 CRU; they were invited to participate in the survey on a purely voluntary basis. Results. Responses were received from 70 (65.4%) of 107 CRU. 55 CRU (79.8%) report a good knowledge of the published GL; 10.1% declare that the psychologists did not know the current GL. 84.5% consider the GL to be fully applicable, while 15.5% believe that they are only partly applicable. Psychological assessment is performed through clinical interview (94.3%) and psychometric tests (81.4%). 92.8% of the CRU use screening instruments in order to evaluate psychosocial risk factors, in particular anxiety and depression (64.3%). Quality of life (22.8%) and cognitive impairment (17.1%) are not routinely assessed. Educational interventions are planned in 87.1% of the CR programme and are extended to the family members (51%) as well as counselling (57%). Psychological programme includes smoking (56%) and eating behaviour (55%) group interventions. Stress management is routinely planned in 69% of the CRU. Psychological intervention tailored to individual needs of the patients is performed in 62.9% CRU. Written final reports are available in 88.6% cases. The follow-up is carried out by 48.6% of the CRU, 15.7% in a structured way. Conclusions. The survey shows wide discrepancies in the provision of psychological activities in Italian CRU. Nevertheless psychological assessment and interventions seem acceptably coherent with current national GL on CR.



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cardiac rehabilitation, psychology, guidelines
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How to Cite
Sommaruga, Marinella, Roberto Tramarin, Gianluigi Balestroni, Ornella Bettinardi, Massimo Miglioretti, Ombretta Omodeo, and Antonia Pierobon. 2016. “Organization of Psychological Activities in Italian Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention Survey on the Implementation of Guidelines for Psychological Activities in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease 70 (1).

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