• Eighty-nine patients receiving cardiac valve replacement or surgery consisting of valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafts in four teaching hospitals were studied before surgery and again six months after surgery. More than 60 indicators of the quality of life were assessed. The majority of persons showed improvement in physical function, emotional states, and social activity. Of those with exertional angina or dyspnea before surgery, about two thirds were completely relieved at six months after surgery. There was a substantial reduction in number (from 31 to seven) of persons with five or more days of disability per month due to cardiac symptoms. The majority remained the same in their usual level of physical activity, most psychological traits, and attitudes and social support networks. Most previously employed persons returned to work. Improvements in the conditions of patients who had had valve surgery closely paralleled those of patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery in the same hospitals.
(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:2107-2113)