Patterns and Predictors of Physical Functional Disability at 5 to 10 Years After Heart Transplantation

Kathleen L. Grady*, David C. Naftel, James B. Young, Dave Pelegrin, Jennifer Czerr, Robert Higgins, Alain Heroux, Bruce Rybarczyk, Mary McLeod, Jon Kobashigawa, Julie Chait, Connie White-Williams, Susan Myers, James K. Kirklin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Researchers have not examined relationships between perception of physical functional disability and demographic, clinical, and psychological variables at 5 to 10 years after heart transplantation. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to describe physical functional disability over time and identify predictors of physical functional disability from 5 to 10 years after heart transplantation. Methods: The study enrolled 555 patients who were between 5 and 10 years post-heart transplant (age, 54 ± 9 years; 78% male, 88% white, 79% married). Patients completed 6 instruments that measure physical functional disability and factors that may impact physical functional disability. Statistical analyses included calculation of frequencies, means ± standard deviation (plotted over time), Pearson correlation coefficients, and multiple regression coupled with repeated measures. Results: Between 5 and 10 years after heart transplantation, physical functional disability was low, and 34% to 45% of patients reported having no functional disability. More physical functional disability was associated with having more symptoms, having depression/mood/negative affect and lower use of negative coping strategies, having more comorbidities and more specific comorbidities (e.g., more orthopedic problems and diabetes); higher New York Heart Association functional class; having more acute rejection, infection, or cardiac allograft vasculopathy; being female, older, less educated, and unemployed; higher body mass index; and more hospital readmissions (explaining 46% of variance [F = 84.75, p < 0.0001]). Conclusions: Demographic, clinical, and psychological factors were significantly related to physical functional disability. Knowledge of these factors provides the basis for development of therapeutic plans of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1191
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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