The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of job resumption and the influence of clinical, psychological and functional factors in patients who underwent cardiac surgery. 859 patients were evaluated (mean age 66 +/- 9, 72% M, 28% F, 75% retired, 7% housewives and 18% still working) following admission in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Center; within 5 days of cardiac surgery. Six months after surgery, 80% of the patients resumed their previous occupation. The variables which positively influenced the latter were: a) left ventricular ejection fraction > 35% (p = 0.002), average-high education (p = 0.002), younger patients (p = 0.032), absence of complications during the 6 months post-surgery (p = 0.001), having attended frequent educational programs during the rehabilitation period (p = 0.022), a precise knowledge of the illness (p = 0.001), lack of depression (p =0.0001) and anxiety (p = 0.0001). Our data confirm, in accordance with the recent guidelines, the importance of a rehabilitative intervention which comprises physical, educational and psychological support.