September 1983

The Group Counseling v Exercise Therapy StudyA Controlled Intervention With Subjects Following Myocardial Infarction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Stern and Ms Kaslow) and Medicine (Dr Gorman), George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(9):1719-1725. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350090097016

• One hundred six postmyocardial infarction subjects who either achieved a mean work load of less than seven mets on treadmill testing, who were rated as anxious and/or depressed, or who met both criteria, participated in a controlled study comparing the rehabilitation effectiveness of exercise therapy and group counseling. Each intervention lasted 12 weeks. Follow-up evaluations were scheduled at three months, six months and one year. Exercise substantially increased mean work capacity, decreased fatigue, lessened anxiety and depression, and promoted independence and sociability. Counseling substantially reduced depression and promoted a sense of friendliness, and decreased interpersonal friction as well as greater independence and sociability. The control group reported no substantial change on any measured factor. Neither counseling nor exercise had an effect on mortality though subjects in the exercise group reported fewer major cardiovascular sequelae.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1719-1725)