Evaluation of the Recommended Core Components of Cardiac Rehabilitation Practice

Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, USA.
Journal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention (Impact Factor: 1.58). 01/2012; 32(1):32-40. DOI: 10.1097/HCR.0b013e31823be0e2
Source: PubMed


Guidelines have been established that describe recommended core components for cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs; yet, there are no national efforts to monitor the integration of the guidelines. The purpose of this research was to describe incorporation of core components in CR programs.
This was a cross-sectional study using the Ohio Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Survey. Descriptive analyses were stratified on American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) certification, case management, and staff mix.
Sixty-six percent (n = 94) of programs responded, 39% (n = 37) were AACVPR certified, 40% (n = 38) used case management, and 73% (n = 75) staffed an exercise physiologist. Notable findings included that only 44% of programs obtained/performed a 12-lead electrocardiogram and 36% screened for depression. AACVPR-certified programs compared with uncertified programs were more likely to manage overweight/obesity (100% vs 84% instruct on weight control, respectively, P = .02) and perform health assessments upon admission (89% vs 70% respectively, P = .04). Programs using case management when compared with programs that did not use case management were more likely to administer a health survey (92% vs 65%, respectively, P = .003) and risk stratify (100% vs 84%, respectively, P = .02). Programs with an exercise physiologist were more likely to administer/obtain a stress test when compared with those without an exercise physiologist (78% vs 56%, respectively, P = .04).
There was a lack of consistency in the incorporation of core component guidelines; certification, case management, and staff mix offered little improvement. This study provides direction for statewide quality improvement initiatives to improve care delivered in CR programs.

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