Cardiac Psychology Service

Problem description

Severe emotional distress following a heart attack, cardiac surgery or diagnosis of cardiovascular disease is not uncommon. Up to 30% of cardiac patients experience clinically significant levels of depression and/or anxiety after their heart “event”. Research shows that these emotional states can negatively affect recovery and increase the probability of having another heart attack or needing cardiac surgery.  The Cardiac Psychology Service offers a variety of evidence-based  psychological treatments to help individuals with heart disease cope more effectively with their condition, make the necessary lifestyle changes and have a better recovery and medical outcome.

Services available

Psychological assessment and treatment services are primarily available through the two cardiac rehabilitation program sites located at the Reh-Fit Centre on Taylor Avenue (Phone: 204 488-8023) and the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital (Phone: 204 632-3907) as well as St. Boniface Hospital (204 237-2979). Services include: screening for cardiac-related psychological stress, assessment of emotional functioning, large group seminars that teach stress management and relaxation strategies and brief individual therapy and/or linkage to other community resources for persons with more severe adjustment issues.

Referral process

Persons are eligible for these services if they have been referred by their family doctor or cardiologist, are enrolled in the cardiac rehabilitation program or have been identified as needing psychology services during their inpatient stay following their heart attack or cardiac surgery.

Description of services and treatment

The Cardiac Psychology Service is based at St. Boniface General Hospital and is part of the Clinical Health Psychology Program of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. It provides psychological services to the two cardiac rehabilitation sites through clinics conducted at the Reh-Fit Centre and the Wellness Institute, as well as to various WRHA Cardiology clinics on a by-referral basis. This brochure provides further details about the referral process and the psychological treatments that are offered. It also includes a self-assessment guide that is designed to help you decide whether you require psychological services to improve coping with your cardiac condition and lifestyle changes. You can also call the Cardiac Psychology Service at 204 237-2929 to obtain more information.

Key Providers

Dr. George Kaoukis, PhD, C.Psych. (St. Boniface Hospital)


M4 St. Boniface Hospital
Phone: 204 237-2979

Reh-Fit Centre at 1390 Taylor Avenue
Phone: 204 488-8023

Wellness Institute at 1075 Leila Avenue
Phone: 204 632-3907


The “Stress Busters” and “Relaxation for Health” large group seminars for cardiac patients are held on a monthly basis at the Reh-Fit Centre and the Wellness Institute.

Link to other resources

Canadian Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation (CACR)

Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)

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