There has been increasing evidence that psychological stress is a risk factor in the development of heart disease. How an individual copes with stress will determine its impact on his or her health. The literature proposes that the effects of stress can be minimized, reduced, or reversed by factors such as goal-directed activity, physical exercise, relaxation, or emotionally supportive relationships. An exploratory study was conducted to compare activity patterns and leisure concepts between matched groups of cardiac and noncardiac subjects. The data indicate trends in the differences between these two groups in activity patterns and in the variety of activities that characterized their leisure time. The results suggest areas for occupational therapy intervention in the treatment of cardiac patients.

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