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Return to work after rehabilitation in coronary bypass patients: Role of the occupational medicine specialist during rehabilitation


Monpere, C.; Francois, G.; Rondeau du Noyer, C. [u. a.]


European Society of Cardiology


European Heart Journal, 1988, Volume 9 (Supplement L), Seite 48-53, London: Saunders, ISSN: 0195-668X




The aim of the study was to assess the role of the occupational medicine specialist in improving return to work (RTW) after coronary bypass graft (CABG) surgery, with an early intervention in the rehabilitation programme of the patients. There were 57 patients (56 male, 1 female, mean age was 50.7 years), sent for rehabilitation 22 days after surgery (49% of them had a prior myocardial infarction, and the ejection fraction (EF) was greater than or equal to 0. 55 in 67%, 0.30 less than EF less than 0.55 in 25%, or less than or equal to 0.30 in 8%; myocardial revascularization was complete in 47% of the patients).

Jobs required a high level of physical activity in 52. 5% of the patients, a medium or low level in 44% and 3. 5% of the patients were unemployed. At 7 months follow-up, 73.2% out of the 56 alive patients had returned to work with a mean delay of 109.9 +/- 84 days after surgery. The causes of non-return to work were social and economical factors (46.6%) , psychological factors (40%) and medical reasons (13.4%). No clinical data were correlated with return to work (age, EF, extent of revascularization, or results of the stress tests), but return to work varied with the energy requirement in jobs with 97.3% return to work in case of low physical level, and 46.7% in case of high physical level (P less than 0.001).

The comparison with a previous study performed in 1984 in 45 rehabilitation patients (with non-systematic vocational counselling), showed an increase in return to work in cardiac patients from 51% to 78% (P less than 0. 05) after intervention of the occupational physician. So, the different ways of improving return to work in post-CABG patients are complementary: exercise training and secondary prevention are important, but must be completed with individual vocational counselling that should be included in every rehabilitation programme.

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European Heart Journal

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Informationsstand: 20.02.2004

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