The rapid access chest pain clinic: Unmet distress and disability

E. M. Marks, J. B. Chambers, V. Russell, L. Bryan, M. S. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)


Aims: To determine the characteristics, clinical needs and level of health-care use of patients with non-cardiac (NCCP) and cardiac-chest pain (CCP) attending a Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic in an inner-London Hospital. Methods: A cross-sectional comparison of NCCP and CCP patients on measures of pain, mood, beliefs, somatic symptoms and use of services completed by patients attending the Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic over an 18-month period. Results: There were no significant differences between NCCP and CCP patients in terms of chest pain frequency, duration or severity or associated distress; however, NCCP were younger (53 vs. 60, OR = 1.05) and reported 'atypical' pain more frequently (82% vs. 50%, OR= 3.72). The NCCP group reported more panic-type beliefs about chest pain (5.8 vs. 4.3, P< 0.05) and lower 'illness coherence' (a patient's belief that the illness 'makes sense') (3.5 vs. 4.7, P< 0.05). Anxiety and depression scores were similar in both groups. Both groups had similar levels of health-care use but patients with NCCP saw more types of health-care worker (mean 1.7) than those with CCP (mean 1.4, P< 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with NCCP are as disabled and distressed as patients with CCP however current services fail to meet their needs. We suggest that a biopsychosocial approach should be explored.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhcu009
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalQJM: An International Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
Early online date21 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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