Barriers to Walking After Cardiac Surgery


  • Patrícia Alcântara Doval de Carvalho Viana
  • Isabele Caroline Oliveira Moreira
  • Gabriela Lago Rosier
  • Maria Carolina Rosário Santana
  • Luísa Carolina Silva dos Reis
  • Gleide Glícia Gama Lordello



Cardiac Rehabilitation, Number of Steps, Mobility


Background: Phase I cardiac rehabilitation aims to decrease respiratory, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal complications by stimulating mobilization and autonomy. Some barriers associated with hospitalization can influence gait, and being aware of them can minimize the resulting decrease in free physical activity during this period. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the self-reported walking barriers, verify if the number of steps was different with these barriers, and if they occurred more frequently in specific clinical, surgical, and anthropometric characteristics of patients in phase I cardiac rehabilitation. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study included adult individuals during the postoperative period after elective cardiac surgery between January and September 2019 in a cardiovascular referral hospital in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. After the surgery, the patients received a pedometer to count the number of steps for 5 days. After the device was removed, a questionnaire on walking barriers was applied. Results: Forty-two patients were included. A total of 66.7% of the individuals described one or more factors related to walking barriers, followed by insecurity (35.7%), fear (28.6%), and pain (23.8%). The reporting of walking barriers, the number of steps, and the surgical and anthropometric characteristics were similar. Conclusion: Individuals that have undergone cardiac surgery have different mobility during the postoperative period, and factors beyond physical limitations are often self-reported by patients.