1. Kardis, Penny RN, MSN

Article Content


Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) facilitates improvement in the physical status and emotional well being among patients following a life threatening cardiac event. Research suggests older patients demonstrate significant improvements in CR compared to younger patients.



Using data from our phase II CR program, we sought to test the hypothesis that younger patients can experience similar gains in QOL following CR compared to older patients.



We retrospectively reviewed all patients from 2001 through March 2005. Patients were stratified into 3 age groups (<=50, 51-65, >65). QOL was assessed using the Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative (COOP). Lower scores indicate increased QOL. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to test age group and QOL gains pre and post-CR.



CR subjects (n = 556) were predominantly male (82.0 %), CABG recipients (50.5%) and averaged 27.4 visits for the 3 month period. Statistically significant changes (P <.01) in QOL from baseline to month 3 were seen for Daily Activities, Feelings, Overall Health, Pain, Physical Fitness, and Quality of Life. Statistically significant changes in QOL from baseline to month 3, adjusted for age were seen for Overall Health (F = 3.27, P <.039) and Pain (F = 5.40, P <.005). Increasing age led to increasing numbers of statistically significant changes from baseline: <=50 4/9 COOP subscales, 51-65 (7/9 COOP subscales) and >65 (7/9 COOP subscales).



Significant improvements in QOL following cardiac rehabilitation were seen across 6/9 COOP subscales from baseline to 3-months. Statistically significant QOL improvements adjusted by age were seen for only 2/9 COOP subscales, showing that older adults have higher levels of Overall Health and less Pain following cardiac rehabilitation. These results suggest that while CR benefits all patients, younger patients experience equal gains in QOL.