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May 18, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(3):225-231. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980030001001

• The process of rehabilitation begins at the moment the patient is first stricken with his disease. The goal is the maximal attainment within the patient's capacities. In approximately 80% of cardiac patients the total program can be managed by the private physician; in others, a team approach and help from specialists is necessary. It is assumed that adequate attention has been given to medical therapy, rest, relief of pain, oxygen requirements, nutrition, and sedation. In addition, the patient's emotional problems must be dealt with. The period of passivity which is frequently required at first should be terminated as soon as possible. The periods of hospitalization and of convalescence at home are followed by a period of vocational readjustment, and each presents problems that can be solved on the basis of available facts. There has been no evidence that employment has aggravated the underlying disease in cardiac patients, and there have been no medicolegal compensation cases involved in the employment of such patients.