This is a descriptive study of a program of early discharge, early rehabilitation and early return to work after acute myocardial infarction. In 1985, all patients below 67 years of age from Trondheim, Norway and neighboring communities who were discharged from the Regional Hospital, after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were referred for treatment at the outpatient clinic at Physical Medical Department 1–2 weeks after discharge from the hospital. From the total number of 135 patients, 36 (27%) were discharged after 5 days or less, and 74 (55%) during the first week after AMI. One hundred and five patients (78%) had a submaximal, symptom-limited exercise test on an average of 19 days after their infarct with an average working capacity of 104 watts at a submaximal endpoint rating of perceived exertion (RPE) 15 on the Borg scale. Eighty-two percent of the patients returned to work after their infarction, 18% of them within 4 weeks and 59% within 8 weeks after their acute event.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.