Home-based versus centre-based cardiac rehabilitation

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Background The burden of cardiovascular disease world-wide is one of great concern to patients and health care agencies alike. Traditionally centre-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programmes are offered to individuals after cardiac events to aid recovery and prevent further cardiac illness. Home-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes have been introduced in an attempt to widen access and participation. Objectives To determine the effectiveness of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes compared with 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. Search strategy We updated the search of a previous review by searching the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (2007, Issue 4), MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL from 2001 to January 2008. We checked reference lists and sought advice from experts. No language restrictions were applied. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared centre-based cardiac rehabilitation (e. g. hospital, gymnasium, sports centre) with home-based programmes, in adults with myocardial infarction, angina, heart failure or who had undergone revascularisation. Data collection and analysis Studies were selected independently by two reviewers, and data extracted by a single reviewer and checked by a second one. Authors were contacted where possible to obtain missing information. Main results Twelve studies (1,938 participants) met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies recruited a lower risk patient following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) and revascularisation. There was no difference in outcomes of home-versus centre-based cardiac rehabilitation in mortality risk ratio (RR) was 1.31 (95% confidence interval (C) 0.65 to 2.66), cardiac events, exercise capacity standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.11 (95% CI -0.35 to 0.13), as well as inmodifiable risk factors (systolic blood pressure; diastolic blood pressure; total cholesterol; HDL-cholesterol; LDL-cholesterol) or proportion of smokers at follow up or health-related quality of life. There was no consistent difference in the healthcare costs of the two forms of cardiac rehabilitation. Authors' conclusions Home- and centre-based cardiac rehabilitation appear to be equally effective in improving the clinical and health-related quality of life outcomes in acute MI and revascularisation patients. This finding, together with an absence of evidence of difference in healthcare costs between the two approaches, would support the extension of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes such as the Heart Manual to give patients a choice in line with their preferences, which may have an impact on uptake of cardiac rehabilitation in the individual case.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD007130
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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