ICF-based approach to evaluating functionality in cardiac rehabilitation patients after heart surgery

V. Racca, M. Di Rienzo, P. Mazzini, V. Ripamonti, G. Gasti, R. Spezzaferri, M. Modica, M. Ferratini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Heart surgery is a frequent reason for admission to in-patient cardiac rehabilitation programmes. ICF approach has never been used to evaluate cardiac patients after major heart surgery. Aim. The aim was to evaluate and measure functionality in cardiac patients who have undergone heart surgery, using for the first time the ICF-based approach and to assess whether such approach can be feasible and useful in cardiac rehabilitation. Design. Observational study. Setting. In-patients cardiac Rehabilitation Unit in Milan. Population. Fifty consecutively admitted patients who had undergone heart surgery (34 males, 16 females; mean age 65.7±12.5 years). Methods. We prepared a ICF-core set short enough to be feasible and practical. Patients were individually interviewed by different healthcare professionals (randomly selected from a group of two physicians, two physiotherapists and two psychologists) at the beginning (T1) and end of cardiac rehabilitation (T2) Results. The sum of the scores of each ICF body function, body structure, activity and participation code significantly decreased between T1 and T2 (P2 (ρ=0.319; P=0.04). There were no correlations between the ICF environmental codes and clinical parameters. Conclusion. The ICF-based data provided functional information that was consistent with the patients' clinical course. Clinical Rehabilitation Impact. The core set used allowed to quantify important body functions and activities, including some areas that are generally insufficiently considered by healthcare professionals during cardiac rehabilitation, and document their improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-468
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Cardiac surgical procedure
  • Disability and Health
  • Disability evaluation
  • International Classification of Functioning
  • Rehabilitation
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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