Both pre‐hospital decision delay – the time patients wait before seeking medical attention after symptoms have started – and high psychological distress after the cardiac episode predict poor prognosis of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). We aimed to identify psychosocial markers of these prognostic factors.
A cross‐sectional study of 102 consecutive, clinically stable ACS survivors.
Participants completed a questionnaire measuring pre‐hospital decision delay, psychological distress, and several known psychosocial factors related to cardiovascular health: type D personality, resilience, social support, and concerns during the cardiac event. Multiple linear regression and mediation analyses were conducted.
Type D personality and fewer concerns about the serious consequences of delaying help‐seeking were related to more psychological distress post‐ACS, and these relationships were mediated by longer pre‐hospital decision delay. In contrast, resilience was related to lower psychological distress. Social support and social concerns about help‐seeking were not related to the outcome variables.
Type D personality may be a risk factor for more delayed help‐seeking for an ACS and higher psychological distress after the cardiac event. Resilience, in contrast, emerged as a potential protective factor of patients’ mental health after the cardiac event. Pre‐hospital decision delay was related to thinking about serious consequences (e.g., complications, protecting one’s family) but not about social concerns (e.g., wasting other people’s time) during the cardiac episode.