Psychological predictors for return to work after a myocardial infarction

J Psychosom Res. 1987;31(4):471-81. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(87)90005-5.


The relationships between a return to work (RTW) 6 months after a myocardial infarction and selected personality traits, emotional reactions, health knowledge and beliefs, expectations and global health perceptions have been examined in a prospective study of 249 patients below 67 yr of age. Patients' in-hospital expectations of their future work capacity proved to be a strong predictor for RTW. In addition, level of anxiety and depression during hospitalization and level of cardiac lifestyle knowledge were independently associated with RTW. These effects could not be explained by demographic, work-related, or medical factors. It is concluded that patients' early illness perceptions and affective reactions influence later work resumption. Outcome-specific expectancy measures may be the most effective methods for early identification of patients needing rehabilitation efforts after an acute somatic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Myocardial Infarction / psychology
  • Myocardial Infarction / rehabilitation*
  • Personality Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational / psychology*
  • Set, Psychology
  • Sick Role