Evidence Base For Cardiac Rehabilitation

CR has an increasing evidence base as an intervention for secondary prevention (Dalal and Evans, 2003). The focus of research has been primarily in phase III, on post-MI and revascularised patients. The Cochrane review of exercise-based rehabilitation for CHD concluded that exercise-based CR is effective in reducing cardiac deaths, in reducing cardiac risk factors and in enhancing psychosocial factors (Jolliffe, et al., 2004). There is gathering evidence on the impact of CR on many of the newer groups who are being included in CR. A significant feature of CR is that individualised exercise has a positive impact on patients' ability to exercise, on physiological measures of cardiac disease and has not been found to do any harm to patients (Jolliffe, et al., 2004).

There is ample evidence for the later phases of CR. Mayou, et al. (2002) comment that there has been surprisingly little clinical and research interest in the earlier stages of the CR programmes, specifically phases I and II. Thus, the evidence base for these phases is less robust.

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