Quality of life and anxiety in a phase II cardiac rehabilitation program

Tilmer O. Engebretson, Matthew M. Clark, Raymond S. Niaura, Terri Phillips, Anna Albrecht, Peter Tilkemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Cardiac rehabilitation programs increasingly attempt to improve both quantity and quality of life (QOL). Documenting QOL changes requires appropriate instruments, and interpreting QOL data requires an understanding of the factors that influence such reports. Methods: To address both issues, we assessed QOL among 77 patients before and after participation in a 12-wk phase II cardiac rehabilitation program. Individual psychological differences in trait anxiety and defensiveness were also assessed. The sample was 76.6% male, 70.1% married, and had a mean age of 58.8 yr. Results: The QOL scales detected changes which occurred over the 12-wk testing period. QOL reports were strongly and differentially influenced by individual differences in trait anxiety, such that patients reporting high trait anxiety displayed poorer QOL than those low in trait anxiety. More specifically, trait anxiety influenced affect reports most strongly, functional aspects moderately, and physical aspects of QOL reports the least. Conclusions: Defensiveness was unrelated to QOL reports. The 17% of participants who voluntarily left the rehabilitation program prematurely were characterized as younger, having better self-perceived health, having a less severe cardiac history, and being high in both trait anxiety and defensiveness. Study benefits and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adherence
  • Affect
  • Compliance
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Emotion
  • Human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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