Article

Contribution of patient and physician factors to cardiac rehabilitation referral: a prospective multilevel study.

York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine (Impact Factor: 7.04). 07/2008; 5(10):653-62. DOI: 10.1038/ncpcardio1272
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cardiac rehabilitation (CR), in most developed countries, is a proven means of reducing mortality but it is grossly underutilized owing to factors involving both the health system and patients. These issues have not been investigated concurrently. To this end, we employed a hierarchical design to investigate physician and patient factors that affect verified CR referral.
This study was prospective with a multilevel design. We assessed 1,490 outpatients with coronary artery disease attending 97 cardiology practices. Cardiologists completed a survey about attitudes to CR referral. Outpatients were surveyed prospectively to assess sociodemographic, clinical, behavioral, psychosocial and health system factors that affected CR referral. Responses were analyzed by mixed logistic regression analyses. After 9 months, CR referral was verified at 40 centers.
Health-care providers referred 550 (43.4%) outpatients to CR. Factors affecting verified referral included positive physician perceptions of CR (P = 0.03), short distance to the closest CR site (P = 0.003), the perception of fewer barriers to CR (P < 0.001) and a sense of personal control over their condition by the patient (P = 0.001).
Physician-related and patient-related factors both contribute to CR referral. The most relevant physician perceptions of such programs are program quality and perceived benefit. For patients, the most relevant factors are perceived barriers to CR, which might be conveyed during prereferral discussions. Work to improve physicians' perceptions and patients' understanding might improve use of rehabilitation services.

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