The aim of this study was to explore changes in subjective psychological health and perceived work stress among patients who returned to work (RTW) after a multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation (CR) following cardiac interventions.
A total of 108 patients were evaluated at the beginning of their CR, at 6 and 12 months after discharge. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess depression, anxiety, illness perception and work stress at each time stage.
Results showed reports of depressive symptoms significantly decreased (p < 0.05) and subjective mental (p = 0.001) and physical health (p < 0.001) improved over time. Patients revealed a decrease in Type A behaviour pattern (p < 0.001) and in job satisfaction levels (p = 0.01), greater internal locus of control (p < 0.01) and increased use of the coping strategy ‘Involvement’ (p < 0.01).
Major findings are that cardiac patients had an improvement in subjective psychological health and did not perceive increased work stress after their RTW. Patients' psychological health and work stress need to be assessed during the CR and should be also carefully monitored after the RTW in order to identify patients' psychological and work-related barriers and facilitate a safe and successful work reintegration. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.