Identifying the internalizing disorder clusters among recently hospitalized cardiovascular disease patients: a receiver operating characteristics study

The CHAMPS Investigators, Phillip J. Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Depression and anxiety disorders are common among cardiovascular disease (CVD) populations, leading several cardiology societies to recommend routine screening to streamline psychological interventions. However, it remains poorly understood whether routine screening in CVD populations identifies the broader groups of disorders that cluster together within individuals, known as anxious-misery and fear. This study examines the screening utility of four anxiety and depression questionnaires to identify the two internalizing disorder clusters; anxious-misery and fear. Patients with a recent hospital admission for CVD (n = 85, 69.4% males) underwent a structured clinical interview with the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview. The participants also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scale, Overall Anxiety Severity Impairment Scale (OASIS), and the stress subscale of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS). The PHQ-9 and the GAD-7 yielded appropriate screening properties to detect three different iterations of the anxious-misery cluster (sensitivity >80.95% and specificity >82.81%). The GAD-7 was the only instrument to display favorable screening properties to detect a fear cluster omitting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD; sensitivity 81.25%, specificity 76.81%). These findings indicate that the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 could be implemented to reliably screen for anxious-misery disorders among CVD in-patients, however, the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) to detect fear disorders were contingent on the placement of PTSD and OCD within clusters. The findings are discussed in relation to routine screening guidelines in CVD populations and contemporary understandings of the internalizing disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2829
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • cardiovascular disease
  • depression
  • internalizing disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • receiver operating characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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