Characteristics of the Physical Activity Performed by Women Recovering from a Cardiac Event during the 12 Months after Hospital Discharge: A Preliminary Study

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Fumiko Furukawa, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan

Learning Objective 1: identify changes in daily physical activities performed by women with cardiac events after hospital discharge.

Learning Objective 2: discuss how daily physical activities reflect culturally different lifestyles to improve the QOL of CAD patients.

The energy expenditure of walking-base physical activity has been objectively confirmed. However, the changes that occur in the types of physical activities that reflect quality of life (QOL) in women with cardiac events are unclear. This study aimed to identify changes in such activities during the 12 months after hospital discharge.

Subjects were recruited from a hospital. Inclusion criteria were: female with ischemic heart disease: ejection fraction over 40%; younger than 76 years; and no diagnosis of depression. Performance Status (PS) and the 16 items from the Beth Israel Functional Status Questionnaire (BIFS) were used to measure the types of physical activities. PS responses ranged from 0 to 4 (0: fully active, 4: completely disabled), while the BIFS responses ranged from 0 to 4 (1: much difficulty, 4: no difficulty) with 0 indicating that the item was not usually done for other reasons. During this study, the data of 12 subjects collected at 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year following discharge were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The mean age was 66.36.5 years. At 1, 3, and 12 months, PS activity levels above 1 were found in 10 subjects (83%), 7 subjects (58%), and 10 subjects (83%), respectively. In more than 50% of subjects at all three time points, 6 BIFS items were not usually done for other reasons. The number of items with a mean score greater than 3 was 11 at 1 month, 12 at 3 months, and 12 at 12 months.

These results suggest that women with cardiac events may change the kinds of daily physical activities that they perform because their self-care levels are highly maintained. To increase QOL over the course of the recovery process, women might need support to challenge them to do various kinds of activities in secure environments.