INTRODUCTION: A number of studies have investigated factors affecting uptake of cardiac rehabilitation services. However, little information on factors affecting uptake of services in rural localities is available. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey. METHODS: A survey of patients eligible for cardiac rehabilitation was undertaken to investigate uptake of services. The effects of individual and geographic factors on service utilization were explored. RESULTS: Utilization rates for cardiac rehabilitation services within the South Staffordshire locality are low, with 59.3% of eligible patients invited to attend cardiac rehabilitation services following discharge from hospital, 38.6% attending and 22.5% completing the programme. Two factors were independently associated with low service utilization. Patients under the age of 65 years are 1.90 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.01-3.65] times more likely to complete rehabilitation than patients aged over 65 years, and women are only 0.48 (95% CI 0.22-1.03) times as likely as men to complete rehabilitation. The major reported barrier to utilization of services was access. This included problems with public transport, parking and the time and location of classes. Access and medical problems were significantly higher in older people and may have contributed to their low overall completion rate. Electoral ward deprivation, geographical access score, living in an urban or rural electoral ward, electoral ward of residence and provider were not significantly associated with service utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, utilization rates were low. No geographical factors were associated with uptake of services, although the possible effect may have been mediated by the relative affluence of the locality. Two individual factors, age and sex, were most likely to influence uptake.
- cardiac rehabilitation
- uptake barriers