Changes in patients' functional status and quality of life through participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program
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Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to have many physical and psychological benefits for patients with heart disease, but only about half of those starting a cardiac rehabilitation program are compliant. The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to examine the influence of cardiac rehabilitation on functional status, and 2) to examine the influence of cardiac rehabilitation on physical and mental quality of life. The study sample comprised 236 patients (179 males, 57 females). The participants completed the Duke Activity Status Index and the SF-12 pre/post cardiac rehabilitation. Age, gender, and diagnosis were used as covariates in all analyses. Participants demonstrated consistent, positive changes in functional status, physical quality of life, and mental quality oflife over the 12 weeks ofthe study. There were no differences between age groups in any of the areas. Females had a lower functional ability and physical quality of life than men, but showed similar rates of improvement over time. Females also had a lower pre-program mental quality of life mean score but had a higher post-program mental quality of life mean score, although there was no significant difference.