Measuring behavioral outcomes in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation: AN AACVPR STATEMENT.

Research paper by David D Verrill, Helen H Graham, Mark M Vitcenda, Laura L Peno-Green, Valerie V Kramer, Teresa T Corbisiero

Indexed on: 28 May '09Published on: 28 May '09Published in: Journal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention


Outcome measurement in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is required for optimal assessment of program quality, effectiveness of treatments, and evaluation of patient progress. Recent position statements from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Thoracic Society, and American College of Chest Physicians have provided state-of-the-art information on the importance of assessing performance and outcome measures for optimal program effectiveness. Such measures are also required for AACVPR program certification. To meet current standards of practice, the AACVPR developed an Outcomes Matrix that includes 4 domains: Health, Clinical, Behavioral, and Service. Although the Clinical and Health domains have been most commonly used in outcome reporting (eg, 6-minute walk test, quality-of-life survey scores), behavioral measures have received less attention, primarily because they have been perceived as being more difficult to measure and quantify over time. This statement describes 5 common behavioral outcome measures: smoking cessation, medication use, supplemental oxygen use, exercise habits, and nutritional behaviors. Sample questions and calculations for each of these behavioral measures are also provided. By using these measures at program entry and completion, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation practitioners can effectively track and document behavioral changes over time for physicians, third-party insurance providers, or hospital administrators and thus demonstrate the effectiveness of exercise and educational interventions on patient overall health and well-being.