Los Angeles,
12:28 PM

Cedars-Sinai Awarded $2.6 Million to Study Depression in Heart Failure Patients

Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Awards Contract to Study Personalized Treatments for Depressive Symptoms in Heart Failure Patients

Cedars-Sinai investigators, led by Waguih William IsHak, MD,FAPA, professor of Psychiatry and vice chairman for Education and Research, have been awarded $2.6 million to study and compare evidence-based approaches for treating depression in people with advanced heart failure.

Heart failure affects over 26 million adults worldwide and depressive symptoms are detected in nearly half of all patients with heart failure. These symptoms, if not treated, are a risk factor for decline and death.

“Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide,” IsHak said. “Depressive symptoms produce worse outcomes among the medically ill and are associated with poor quality of life, longer hospital stays and increased mortality rates,” says Dr. IsHak. “Detecting and treating depression effectively has great potential to prevent negative outcomes, enhance recovery and promote overall health.” 

IsHak will lead a an interdisciplinary team studying and comparing different evidence-based approaches to treating depression. One method, called “behavioral activation” is a type of psychotherapy that emphasizesd engagement in enjoyable activities chosen by the patient. Another method is to manage depressive symptoms with prescription medication.

Waguih William IsHak, MD
“Detecting and treating depression effectively has great potential to prevent negative outcomes, enhance recovery and promote overall health.” 
Waguih William IsHak, MD

“Treating depression in heart failure has been a significant challenge,” said Michele Hamilton, MD., director of the Heart Failure Program in the Smidt Heart Institute and study co-investigator. “This interdisciplinary research collaboration with the Cedars-Sinai Psychiatry department, at one of the largest heart failure programs in the country, makes it an ideal site to study this important issue to improve both the quality of life and outcomes for patients with heart failure.”

Cedars-Sinai is a national leader in depression research. The Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry faculty and staff work closely with healthcare providers and patients throughout the medical center to support the mental wellbeing of patients as they work towards full recovery and lasting health. Every patient at Cedars-Sinai is screened for depression as a standard part of care.

The Cedars-Sinai award is one of nine new comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies funded by PCORI, an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. The awards have been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract. For more information about PCORI’s funding, visitwww.pcori.org.

“These latest projects reflect the best ideas for urgently needed research on topics prioritized using input from patients, caregivers, clinicians and other stakeholders,” said PCORI executive director Joe Selby, MD, MPH.