Content » Vol 39, Issue 3

Original report

Benefit of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation in under-represented patient subgroups

Raban V. Jeger, Lucas Jörg, Peter Rickenbacher, Matthias E. Pfisterer and Andreas Hoffmann
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0055

Abstract

Objective: To assess the effect of outpatient cardiac rehabilitation in important patient subgroups.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Subjects: Consecutive patients from March 1999 until July 2003.
Methods: This study assessed the results of symptom-limited bicycle stress testing and health-related quality of life (Profil der Lebensqualität Chronisch Kranker) at baseline and after a 3-month rehabilitation program, and complications and drop-outs during outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.
Results: Of 1061 patients, 155 (15%) women, 87 (8%) men aged ≥ 75 years, 162 (15%) had diabetes mellitus and 88 (8%) did not speak the local language. Reasons for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation included acute coronary artery disease (87%), valvular heart disease (9%) and congestive heart failure (1%). Mean age was 62 years (standard deviation 11). Patients increased both their age- and body-weight-adjusted workload (p < 0.0001) and quality of life (p < 0.0001) during the program. Although the initial workload achieved was lower than for normal patients (p < 0.0001), it increased in all subgroups during outpatient cardiac rehabilitation (p < 0.0001). Baseline quality of life was lower in women, but increased in most dimensions for all subgroups assessed.
Conclusion: Important subgroups, such as women, elderly men, diabetic patients and ethnic minorities, are under-represented in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, although they benefit similarly to other patients. Due to lower baseline quality of life, women may need special medical attention prior to outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.

Lay Abstract

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