Cardiac Patients’ Heart Drawings Reflect Exercise Capacity and the Time Elapsed since Coronary Intervention Procedures
█ Original article
Nagy Alexandra1, Szabados Eszter2, Tiringer István3, Csathó Árpád3
1Állami Szívkórház, Balatonfüred
2PTE KK, I.sz. Belgyógyászati Klinika, Kardiológiai Prevenciós és Rehabilitációs Tanszék, Pécs
3PTE ÁOK, Magatartástudományi Intézet, Pécs
Introduction: Cardiac patients’ illness perception and psychological status have been shown to be associated with the size of the heart drawings as well as the amount of heart damage drawn by the patients. The objective of this study was to examine how patients’ heart drawings are associated with physical functionality, various aspects of fatigue and exercise capacity. In addition, it was also investigated whether heart drawings show associations with the time elapsed since coronary intervention procedures (e.g. CABG).
Methods: Patients (N=120) underwent an exercise stress test, performed a heart drawing task and completed questionnaires of depression, anxiety, physical limitations, vital exhaustion and fatigue. Covariate controlled analyses were performed to analyse the associations of heart drawings with exercise capacity, the questionnaire and the time variable data.
Results: The analyses revealed that the heart area drawn by the patients predicts physical functionality and exercise capacity: the larger the heart area, the lower the physical functionality and exercise capacity of the patients. Of the time variables, the strongest association was found between the size of the heart area and the time elapsed since bypass grafting.
Conclusion: The conclusion of the study is that patients’ heart drawings are related to the energy cost of their physical activities and the time elapsed since surgical interventions with positive outcomes on quality of life. To analyse the content of these drawings might be a simple tool to get information about the patient’s perceptions of his illness. With correcting these misperceptions the psychological distress and quality of life can be changed positively, as well as the adherence and compliance of the patient.