Return to work after myocardial infarction/coronary artery bypass grafting: patients' and physicians' initial viewpoints and outcome 12 months later

Soc Sci Med. 2001 May;52(9):1441-50. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(00)00250-1.


Nonmedical factors play an important role in determining whether patients resume their work after myocardial infarction or CABG. The main questions dealt with in this study are: What is the respective basis of physicians' and patients' judgements as far as vocational disabilities are concerned, and what are the decisive factors that facilitate a prediction as to who will return to work and who will not? 132 male patients participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program served as subjects. The age group was limited to patients between 40 and 59 yr of age. The work situation 12 months following rehabilitation is known for 119 subjects; 74 had resumed their occupations. Results of regression analyses show that patients' and physicians' views on disabilities and re-employment are based on different factors. The physicians derive their estimates mainly from medical variables (cardiac status and comorbidity), whereas the patients' views are based on the overall health status, their former job status, job satisfaction, and negative incentives for the return to work. Three variables were found that allow a prediction to be made as to re-employment in 85% of all cases: (1) age, (2) patients' feelings about the extent to which they are disabled by their cardiac problem, and (3) the physicians' views on the extent to which the patient is vocationally disabled by his overall medical situation. Medical variables (e.g. cardiac status) had little relevance to re-employment. The results are discussed with regard to the consequences for cardiac rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Employment*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / rehabilitation*
  • Patients
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome*