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coronary artery surgery, functional status, recovery, women's health



  1. DiMattio, Mary Jane K.
  2. Tulman, Lorraine


Background: There is limited information available to help women gauge their functional status following coronary artery bypass graft surgery.


Objective: This article describes changes in functional status and the influence of comorbidity, household composition, fatigue, and surgical pain on functional status in women during the first 6 weeks at home following coronary artery bypass surgery.


Method: A single-group longitudinal design was used for this research. Women were interviewed in person before hospital discharge and by telephone at 2, 4, and 6 weeks after discharge. Functional status was assessed by (a) the Inventory of Functional Status in the Elderly and subscales of the Sickness Impact Profile; (b) comorbid conditions by simple tally; and (c) fatigue and surgical pain by the Energy/Fatigue and Pain Severity subscales of the MOS Patient Assessment Questionnaire.


Results: Women experienced significant gains in functional status over 6 weeks, particularly between 2 and 4 weeks. They engaged most frequently in personal care and low-level household activities during the study period, and most reported improvement in their overall functional status. None of the women were completely recovered or had regained baseline functional status by 6 weeks. The women experienced significant decreases in fatigue and surgical pain, but continued to experience both at 6 weeks. Fatigue and surgical pain were significantly correlated at all time periods.


Discussion: Information about recovery following coronary artery bypass graft, and particularly the finding that recovery is incomplete by 6 weeks, should be incorporated into discharge planning and follow-up for this patient population.