There is little difference between the outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation in a hospital setting and in the home, a new study has shown that, with some positive benefits linked to home-based cardiac rehabilitation.
Researchers from the NHS in Cornwall, the Peninsula Medical School, the Agency for Health Technology Assessment in Warsaw and the University of Birmingham analysed 12 studies relating to cardiac rehabilitation and found no difference in health outcomes for patients who receive cardiac rehabilitation in a clinical setting or at home.
The study found that there was no difference between home based and centre based rehabilitation for a number of issues including mortality, cardiac events, exercise capacity, risk factors that can be modified (such as smoking, high blood pressure, total cholesterol) and quality of life in people at a low risk of further events after myocardial infarction or revascularisation.
The study also found some evidence that those who received and practised cardiac rehabilitation at home were more likely to stick to their rehabilitation regime.
This is an important point, because poor participation is a weakness in some cardiac rehabilitation programmes delivered from centre based settings such as hospitals or gyms.
The research team identified a number of reasons why people did not attend centre based rehabilitation classes including problems with accessibility and parking at their local hospital, a dislike of groups and work or domestic commitments.
The team found that these problems can be overcome by home-based programmes and at a similar cost to health care services as centre based rehabilitation.
The research paper is published in BMJ Online.