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Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 659589, 7 pages
Research Article

Apathy and Cognitive Test Performance in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Testing

1Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Akron City Hospital, Summa Health System, Akron, OH 44304, USA

Received 23 September 2012; Revised 28 December 2012; Accepted 28 December 2012

Academic Editor: Koichi Hirata

Copyright © 2013 Lynn Reese Kakos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Psychiatric comorbidity is common in patients with cardiovascular disease, with the literature indicating that this population may be at risk for apathy. The current study examined the prevalence of apathy in patients with cardiovascular disease and its relation to aspects of cognitive function. Methods. 123 participants from an outpatient cardiology clinic completed a brief neuropsychological battery, a cardiac stress test, and demographic information, medical history, and depression symptomatology self-report measures. Participants also completed the Apathy Evaluation Scale to quantify apathy. Results. These subjects reported limited levels of apathy and depression. Increased depressive symptomatology, history of heart attack, and metabolic equivalents were significantly correlated with apathy ( ). Partial correlations adjusting for these factors revealed significant correlations between behavioral apathy and a measure of executive function and the other apathy subscale with a measure of attention. Conclusion. Findings revealed that apathy was not prevalent in this sample though associated with medical variables. Apathy was largely unrelated to cognitive function. This pattern may be a result of the mild levels of cardiovascular disease and cognitive dysfunction in the current sample. Future studies in samples with severe cardiovascular disease or neuropsychological impairment may provide insight into these associations.