Anxiety is commonly experienced by patients following myocardial infarction. The role of anxiety in the recovery/rehabilitation process is not well understood, but anxiety is thought to be one of the factors determining outcome. It is important, therefore, to understand the possible effects on anxiety of changing discharge policies in coronary care units. Anxiety was assessed in a sample of MI patients, with good or poor prognoses, assigned to either early or late discharge from a coronary care unit. Although the overall level of anxiety of the total sample was not unduly high, it was clear that there was a subgroup of individuals, high in trait anxiety and with a poor prognosis, for whom early discharge was contra-indicated. Irrespective of prognosis, it was clear that early discharge did not produce a uniform response, indicating the need to differentiate between patients when determining the optimal date for discharge.