Patients keep GPs in the dark over serious heart symptoms

University of Wollongong researchers surveyed more than 600 patients waiting to see their GP about a non-heart related condition.

Patients self-reported undiagnosed symptoms of heart disease, current levels of depression and anxiety symptoms, and whether they intended speaking to their GP about heart disease symptoms.

The study, presented at the recent Australian Psychological Society conference, found about 20% of patients had undiagnosed moderate to severe symptoms of heart disease, and those with the most significant symptoms were the least likely to talk to their GP about them. 

Lead author Dr Coralie Wilson (PhD) said the focus of prevention and intervention had previously been on “help-seeking” – encouraging people to recognise their symptoms and get appropriate medical attention.

 “As people become unwell, their ability to clearly recognise their symptoms and take action becomes diminished,”