The effects of early mobilization after uncomplicated myocardial infarction were investigated in a strictly randomized controlled study conducted during a period of transition in the therapeutic practice of the Cantonal Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland. One hundred fifty-four patients under age 70 who were hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction and who had no complications on day 1 or day 2 were randomly assigned to two treatment groups. In the early mobilization group, patients were treated by a physical therapist with a progressive activity program beginning on day 2 or 3 after infarction. In the control group, patients underwent the traditional hospital regimen of strict bed rest for 3 or more weeks. The mean duration of hospitalization was 21.3 days for treated patients and 32.8 days for the control group. The follow-up period ranged from 6 to 20 (average 11.2) months. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with regard to hospital or follow-up mortality, rate of reinfarction, arrhythmias, heart failure, angina pectoris or ventricular aneurysm, or results of an exercise test. There was significantly greater disability in the control than in the treated group on follow-up examination. This controlled trial, based on a rigid experimental design, provides important confirmation of the benefits of early mobilization observed in uncontrolled programs in recent years.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Center of Cardiology and the Institute for Physioal Medicine and Rehabilitation. Department of Medicine, Hbpital Cantonal, Qerke-va. Switzerland. This study was supported by grants from ths Swiss Foundation of Cardiology. Manuscript accepted January 16, 1974. l Present address: Cardiac Unit. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Mass. 02114. t CUnkfue rrhdlcale universitaire. Geneva, swltzerland. $ Policllnique rrhdlcale universltaire. Qeneva. Switzerland. * Clinique m&kale universitaire, Geneva. Switzerland. Present address: Truesdale Hospital, Fall River, Mess.