Patient and program characteristics of early outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs in the United States.

Research paper by Leonard A LA Kaminsky, Laurel A LA Thur, Katrina K Riggin

Indexed on: 04 Apr '13Published on: 04 Apr '13Published in: Journal of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and prevention


The purpose of this study was to perform a brief survey to determine the patient and program characteristics associated with early outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (EOCR) in the United States.To assess these characteristics, a brief survey (13 items, some with multiple responses) was sent by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) to all program administrators or directors on the AACVPR mailing list in 2009.Responses were received from 138 program administrators or directors in 44 states, accounting for 19 689 patients who completed at least 1 EOCR exercise session. More men (68%) were enrolled in EOCR programs, and the 3 most prevalent primary diagnoses were percutaneous coronary intervention or stent (31%), coronary artery bypass graft surgery (30%), and myocardial infarction (22%). Seventy-two percent of responding programs were AACVPR certified and had staff trained primarily (66%) in either nursing or exercise physiology. Eighty-four percent of the programs offered an outpatient maintenance cardiac rehabilitation program, and 62% were located in a rural setting.This study provides valuable information on use and patient demographics of EOCR programs in the United States. This information may be beneficial for health care professionals, health care institutions, third-party payers, and regulatory agencies that seek to quantify health care quality.