Functional status one year after heart transplant

Anne Jalowiec*, Kathleen L. Grady, Connie White-Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


■ PURPOSE: Although heart transplantation (HT) increases survival of heart failure patients, many patients still experience problems afterward that affect functioning. Purposes: (1) to compare the functional status of HT patients before transplant versus 1 year after transplant, (2) to identify functional problems 1 year post-transplant, and (3) to identify which variables predicted worse functional status 1 year later. ■ METHODS: The sample was 237 adult HT recipients who completed the 1-year post-transplant study booklet. Functional ability was assessed by the Sickness Impact Profile. Paired t tests compared Sickness Impact Profile scores before and after transplant. Medical and demographic data plus patient questionnaire data on Sickness Impact Profile, symptoms, stressors, and compliance were used in the regression. ■ RESULTS: Sickness Impact Profile functional scores improved significantly from pre-transplant (23.0%) to post-transplant (13.4%); however, many HT recipients still reported problems in 12 functional areas 1 year after surgery. Major problem areas were the following: work (90% of patients), eating (due to dietary restrictions, 87%), social interaction (70%), recreation (63%), home management (62%), and ambulation (54%). Only 26% were working 1 year after transplant; 59% of those working reported health-related problems performing their job. Predictors of worse functional status were greater symptom distress, more stressors, more neurologic problems, depression, female sex, older age, and lower left ventricular ejection fraction (worse cardiac function). ■ CONCLUSIONS: Many HT recipients were still having functional problems and had not reached their full rehabilitation potential by the 1-year anniversary after transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Functional status
  • Heart transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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