Aim. To evaluate the effects of interpersonal counselling on health-related quality of life after myocardial infarction.
Background. Depression is a risk factor for poor health-related quality of life after myocardial infarction. Interpersonal counselling seems to reduce depressive symptoms and distress after myocardial infarction.
Methods. Myocardial infarction patients (n = 103) were randomised into an intervention group (n = 51) with 1–6 (mean 4·6) interpersonal counselling-sessions focusing on managing depressive symptoms and a control group (n = 52). Health-related quality of life after myocardial infarction was measured with EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) in hospital, at six and 18 months after discharge.
Results. No differences in the changes of health-related quality of life were found between the groups during follow-up. However, health-related quality of life improved significantly in the intervention group. In the group of patients under 60 years, the effect of interpersonal counselling was significant in the intervention group compared with the control group.
Conclusions. Interpersonal counselling does not seem to improve health-related quality of life better than standard care after myocardial infarction in general, but it does seem to be beneficial with younger myocardial infarction patients.
Relevance to clinical practice. There is a need to study the effects of interpersonal counselling further with younger myocardial infarction patients and to develop the intervention further, before using it systematically as part of nursing practice.