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Int J Nurs Stud. 2007 Nov;44(8):1304-15. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Physical, psychological and social recovery patterns after coronary artery bypass graft surgery: a prospective repeated measures questionnaire survey.

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Australian Catholic University, Australia.



This study examined the physical, psychological and social recovery patterns of Hong Kong Chinese patients who have undergone CABG surgery over a period of six months.


Recovery from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a dynamic process and the associated physical, psychological and social effects could lead to failure to recuperate leading to hospital re-admission and morbidity.


A prospective repeated measures design was used for this research. Patients were interviewed in person 5 days before surgery and at 1 week after discharge, and by telephone at 3 and 6 months after discharge. Physical recovery dimension was assessed by three categories of the Sickness Impact Profile (ambulation, sleep-rest, body movement and care). Social recovery dimension was assessed by three categories of the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) (home management, social interaction, and recreation and pastimes). Psychological recovery was assessed using the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D).


Sixty-eight patients participated in this research. The mean physical SIP-dimension score and depression level at discharge was the highest then gradually decreased at 6 months after CABG. The SIP-physical and SIP-social and depression level differed significantly across the four-assessment time within-group. There were no gender differences in physical and social recovery and depression levels. Patients who had poorer physical and social recovery had more depression at one week and three months after CABG surgery.


Patients should be prepared for discharge after CABG surgery. Cultural factors may have influenced the similar recovery patterns between genders. These factors contributing to early recovery must be further examined.


Because of the large number of patients who undergo CABG worldwide, and because of healthcare cost related to this intervention, it is important for both patients and healthcare providers to have realistic expectations about the recovery process and to recognise deviations from the norm. The results provided some insights into the Hong Kong Chinese patients' recovery from CABG surgery that would guide the development of culturally appropriate pre-operative and discharge teaching for this group of patients.

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