Home based versus centre based cardiac rehabilitation: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article



Objective To compare the effect of home based and supervised centre based cardiac rehabilitation on mortality and morbidity, health related quality of life, and modifiable cardiac risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease. Design Systematic review. Data sources Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO, without language restriction, searched from 2001 to January 2008. Review methods Reference lists checked and advice sought from authors. Included randomised controlled trials that compared centre based cardiac rehabilitation with home based programmes in adults with acute myocardial infarction, angina, or heart failure or who had undergone coronary revascularisation. Two reviewers independently assessed the eligibility of the identified trials and extracted data independently. Authors were contacted when possible to obtain missing information. Results 12 studies (1938 participants) were included. Most studies recruited patients with a low risk of further events after myocardial infarction or revascularisation. No difference was seen between home based and centre based cardiac rehabilitation in terms of mortality (relative risk 1.31, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 2.66), cardiac events, exercise capacity (standardised mean difference -0.11, -0.35 to 0.13), modifiable risk factors (weighted mean difference systolic blood pressure (0.58 mm Hg, -3.29 mm Hg to 4.44 mm Hg), total cholesterol (-0.13 mmol/l, -0.31 mmol/l to 0.05 mmol/l), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.15 mmol/l, -0.31 mmol/l to 0.01 mmol/l), or relative risk for proportion of smokers at follow-up (0.98, 0.73 to 1.31)), or health related quality of life, with the exception of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.06, -0.11 to -0.02) mmol/l). In the home based participants, there was evidence of superior adherence. No consistent difference was seen in the healthcare costs of the two forms of cardiac rehabilitation. Conclusions Home and centre based forms of cardiac rehabilitation seem to be equally effective in improving clinical and health related quality of life outcomes in patients with a low risk of further events after myocardial infarction or revascularisation. This finding, together with the absence of evidence of differences in patients' adherence and healthcare costs between the two approaches, supports the further provision of evidence based, home based cardiac rehabilitation programmes such as the "Heart Manual." The choice of participating in a more traditional supervised centre based or evidence based home based programme should reflect the preference of the individual patient.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberb5631
JournalBritish Medical Journal (International edition)
Issue number7740
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010