December 1970

Rehabilitation and Functional Status After Surgery for Valvular Heart Disease

Author Affiliations

Charlottesville, Va

From the Adult Cardiology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.

Arch Intern Med. 1970;126(6):995-999. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310120057006

Questionnaires about activity tolerance, employment, and other aspects of health were completed by 100 adult patients who survived surgery for valvular heart disease for an average of 35 months. Fifteen late deaths and four instances of known, major neurologic impairment were excluded from analysis. Seventy-four percent of the respondents said that they could still accomplish more exertion and specific activities than preoperatively. There was also a reduction of the level of concern about health postoperatively, 70% had the same job or family responsibility as before surgery, and 47% had the same or more income. Assessment of therapy in terms of overall physical and social functioning of individuals must accept the limitations that nonobjectivity of data and complex causeand-effect interactions are present to a greater degree than in standard, scientific studies.