Background: Depression is common in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Clinical practice guidelines recommend routine depression screening by cardiologists. The aim of the study was to undertake a national survey of Australian cardiologists’ clinical practice behaviours in relation to depression screening, referral, and treatment. Methods: The Cardiovascular Disease and Depression Questionnaire was sent to 827 eligible cardiologist members of Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, of which a total of 524 were returned (63%). Results: Most Australian cardiologists do not routinely ask their patients about depression and only 3% routinely use depression screening instruments. Most cardiologists (>70%) think that General Practitioners (Primary Care Physicians) are primarily responsible for identifying and treating depression in CVD. Cardiologists, who understand the prognostic risks of depression in CVD and feel confident to identify and treat depression, were more likely to screen, refer and/or treat patients for depression. Conclusions: Australian cardiologists rarely use validated depression screening measures. Several brief instruments are available for use and can be easily integrated into routine patient care without taking additional consultation time.
- Cardiovascular disease