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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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