1. LaPier, Tanya Kinney PT, PhD, CCS

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Cognitive function if often impaired following coronary artery bypass (CAB). It is unclear which areas of cognition may be impaired following CAB and how this is potentially related to psychosocial and physical functioning.



The purposes of this pilot study were to describe cognitive performance using several tests and to examine the relationship between these scores and indices of psychosocial and physical function in patients recovering from CAB.



This study included 17 patients over 60 years of age attending outpatient cardiac rehabilitation who had undergone CAB within the past 6 months. Subjects completed several tests of cognitive performance including the finger tapping test (FTT), word frequency test (WFT), recognition memory test for words and faces (RMT-W, RMT-F) and of psychosocial and physical function including the Perceived Stress Scale, CES Mood Scale, 6 minute walk test (6MWT), and SF-36. Analysis included calculation of descriptive statistics and correlations (P <.05).



Descriptive statistics (mean +/- SD, min-max score) for the cognitive tests were as follows: FTT dominant hand 51 +/- 8, 29-65; FTT nondominant hand 48 +/- 7, 29-63; WFT 30 +/- 12, 17-55; RMT-W 46 +/- 3, 29-48; and RMT-F 40 +/- 6, 29-48. Distance on the 6MWT was significantly correlated with scores on the FTT (r = 0.44) and WFT (r = 0.54). Score on the physical component scale of the SF-36 was significantly correlated with score on the WFT (r = 0.61). Mean score on the WFT for subjects in this study was approximately 25% below normative values. Minimal scores on the FTT and RMT-F were 2 SD below normative values.



We found that cognitive function was moderately related to physical function but not psychosocial function in patients recovering from CAB. This finding may have important implications for the rehabilitation of patients following CAB.