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Dr Barbara Murphy

Group program to support SCAD survivors

Dr Barbara Murphy, Australian Centre for Heart Health

2022 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2023-2023

Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an increasingly recognised cause of heart attack in people without classical cardiac risk factors, predominantly affecting young women. SCAD is highly stressful because it is unexpected, difficult to diagnose and manage, and commonly recurs. SCAD is relatively uncommon and virtually unheard of by many health professionals including specialist physicians, leaving survivors floundering in their efforts to manage the condition, further exacerbating uncertainty, anxiety and isolation. There is an urgent need to develop strategies and services to support SCAD survivors in their emotional recovery.

This project involves the development and pilot-testing of an online facilitated group program for SCAD survivors. The 4-week program will be designed with input from SCAD survivors and will be delivered to 30 SCAD survivors to test its acceptability and impact on anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. The result will be an evidence-based, co-designed online group program accessible Australia-wide.

Last updated17 January 2023