Original Research

Subjective and objective cognition 6-week post-coronary artery bypass graft surgery: A descriptive pilot study

Ntokozo N. Ngcobo, Andrew Tomita, Suvira Ramlall
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 26 | a1470 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v26i0.1470 | © 2020 Ntokozo N. Ngcobo, Andrew Tomita, Suvira Ramlall | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 September 2019 | Published: 09 July 2020

About the author(s)

Ntokozo N. Ngcobo, Department of Psychiatry, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Andrew Tomita, Department of Psychiatry, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Suvira Ramlall, Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery has been found to be associated with post-operative cognitive decline. Despite the large and growing numbers being conducted in South Africa, the associated or ensuing cognitive symptoms or impairment have received little research attention.

Aim: The aim of this pilot study was to describe the nature and extent of subjective cognitive complaints (SCCs) and objective cognitive impairments in patients 6-week post-CABG surgery in a clinical sample in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province, South Africa.

Setting: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among outpatients attending their 6-week post-CABG surgical review at a cardiology clinic in a KZN provincial hospital.

Method: Socio-demographic and clinical data were captured, with SCCs being determined by using standardised questions; cognition was assessed with the Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA).

Results: The mean age of the sample (n = 28) was 58.72 years. The mean MoCA score was 23.96 (SD = 4.32); 60.71% (n = 17) screening positive (< 25/30) and more likely to be older, male, hypertensive and diabetic. A third (n = 9; 35.71%) reported at least one new SCC; their mean age was 55.36 years which was lower than those without subjective complaints (59.81).

Conclusions: Subjective and objective cognitive impairments were evident in patients 6-week post-CABG surgery identifying a need for longitudinal cognitive screening both pre- and post- operatively in patients undergoing CABG surgery.


Keywords

coronary artery disease; coronary artery bypass graft surgery; cognitive screening; subjective memory impairment; cognitive decline; depression

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