Self-Reported Executive Function in Hospitalized Cardiac Patients and Associations With Patient Characteristics and Cardiac Rehabilitation Attendance

Brian R. Katz, Sherrie Khadanga, William A. Middleton, Katharine Mahoney, Patrick D. Savage, Michael Desarno, Philip A. Ades, Diann E. Gaalema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Executive function (ExF), the ability to do complex cognitive tasks like planning and refraining from impulsive behavior, is associated with compliance with medical recommendations. The present study identified associations between self-reported ExF and demographics of patients with cardiac disease as well as with cardiac rehabilitation (CR) attendance. Methods: Self-reported ExF impairment was measured using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) on 316 individuals hospitalized for CR-qualifying cardiac events. Scores were calculated for a global measure (Global Executive Composite [GEC]) and the two BRIEF indices: Behavioral Regulation Index and Metacognition Index (MCI). Participants were followed up post-discharge to determine CR attendance. Univariate logistic regressions between ExF measures and demographic variables were conducted, as were multiple logistic regressions to identify significant, independent predictors. Analyses were conducted using clinical (T scores ≥ 65) and subclinical (T scores ≥ 60) criteria for significant ExF impairment as outcomes. One-way analyses of variance were performed between ExF impairment and CR attendance. Results: Self-reported ExF deficits were relatively rare; 8.9% had at least subclinical scores on the GEC. Using the subclinical criterion for the MCI, having diabetes mellitus (DM) and being male were significant, independent predictors of MCI impairment. No significant relationship was found between ExF and CR attendance. Conclusion: Using the subclinical criterion only, individuals with DM and males were significantly more likely to have MCI impairment. No significant effect of ExF impairment on CR attendance was found, suggesting that self-reported ExF measured in the hospital may not be an appropriate measure for predicting behavioral outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • executive function
  • secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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