Functional, Social, and Emotional Outcomes in Women and Men in the First Year Following Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery

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The objective of this work was to compare women and men on indicators of functional, social, and emotional recovery over the course of 1 year following coronary artery bypass surgery. Descriptive data from two prospective, longitudinal studies were used. Data were collected via mailed questionnaires and telephone follow-up at 1, 4–6, and 12 months after surgery. Participants included 77 women and 109 men postcoronary artery surgery. The Sickness Impact Profile, Bi-Polar Profile of Mood States, Diener's Satisfaction with Life Scale, and occurrence of angina were the measures used. Women were older than men and were more likely to be widowed and to be living alone. Women had higher levels of disruption in ambulation and a trend for higher disruption in home management activities early in the postoperative course. There were no gender differences on indicators of social activity, emotional response, satisfaction with life, or recurrence of angina. There were no gender differences on any measure 1 year postsurgery. Although women report greater disruption than men on some indicators of physical recovery early in the postoperative course, these differences are likely because of expectations in terms of role functioning and social support rather than being caused by the event of surgery in and of itself. Expectations for recovery in women should be based on the usual experience of women, as opposed to using the experience of men as the gold standard.

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Journal of Women's Health, v. 3, issue 5, p. 347-354