The Role of Emotional Competence in Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.
OBJECTIVE: Emotional competence is important for mental and physical health. However, no studies have examined the link between aspects of emotional competence and Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy (TTC). METHODS: We compared 37 TTC patients who experienced emotion triggers (TTC-t: mean age 66.4 ± 12.8 years, 33 women) with 37 TTC patients who did not experience emotion triggers (TTC-nt: mean age 65.8 ± 11.1 years, 33 women) and 37 patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction who experienced a precipitating emotion that could have triggered the event (AMI-t: mean age 66.1 ± 10.1 years, 33 women). Groups were compared with respect to emotional competence and depressive symptoms. The three aspects of emotional competence (emotional intelligence, metacognitive beliefs and emotional processing deficits) were assessed using the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS), the Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30) and the Emotional Processing Scale (EPS), respectively. Differences between group means were evaluated using MANCOVA, adjusting for depressive symptomatology (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; HAM-D) RESULTS: TTC-t patients, if compared to TTC-nt patients and AMI-t patients, had the lowest scores in emotional intelligence (TMMS Attention: F [2, 184] = 23.10; p < .001. TMMS Repair: F [2, 184] = 11.98; p < .001), and the highest scores in metacognitive beliefs and emotional processing deficits (e.g. MCQ-30 Negative Beliefs about Thoughts: F [2, 184] = 56.93; p < .001), independent of the levels of depressive symptomatology. Finally, our findings showed that TTC-nt patients had significantly lower scores on the HAM-D scale compared to AMI-t (p = 0.021) and TTC-t (p = 0.004) patients. CONCLUSIONS: TTC-t patients showed a specific dysfunctional profile of emotional competence, even after adjusting for depressive symptomatology; results provided a better understanding of the predisposing psychological and trait factors in Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy patients.