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Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the health patterns of cardiac surgical patients in the home health care population and their relationships to outcomes and duration of home health care using Gordon's Functional Health Pattern framework. Home health care records of 96 cardiac surgical clients were reviewed. Admission health pattern data, reasons for admission, duration and outcomes of home care services, characteristics of hospital experience, and demographic data were analyzed. Dysfunctional health patterns were primarily in the area of activity/exercise. The most common reasons for admission were monitoring of cardiopulmonary status, wound care, and instruction on diet, medications, and cardiac regimen. The mean duration of home care was 28.8 days. Thirty percent of the sample were readmitted to the hospital. Duration of home care was shorter for those who were married and for those who reported weakness, tiredness, or fatigue as a chief complaint. Readmission to the hospital was more likely for those who had complications during their initial hospital stay and those who required at least partial assistance with bathing, dressing, feeding, or toileting. Implications for practice and research are discussed.