The Role of Clinical and Geographic Factors in the Use of Hospital versus Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation
Grace, Sherry L.
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Objective: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is most often provided in a hospital setting. Home-based models of care have been developed to overcome geographic, among other, barriers in patients at lower-risk. This study assessed whether clinical and geographic factors were related to use of either a hospital- or home-based program. Methods: Secondary analysis was undertaken within a study of 1268 cardiac outpatients recruited from 97 cardiologist practices where clinical data were extracted. Participants completed a survey including the Duke Activity Status Index. They reported CR utilization in a second survey mailed 9 months later, including CR site and program model. Geographic information systems was used to determine distances and drive times to the CR site attended from patients’ homes. Results: Overall, 469 (37.0%) participants attended CR at one of 41 programs. Of the 373 (79.5%) participants with complete geographic data, 43 (11.5%) reported attending home-based CR. The sole clinical difference was in activity status, where patients attending hospital-based program had lower activity status (p<.01). There were no differences in model attended based on geographic parameters including urban vs. rural dwelling or drive times (p>.05). Conclusions: Only one-tenth of outpatients participated in a home-based program, and this allocation was unrelated geographic considerations. While patients should continue to be appropriately-triaged based on clinical risk to ensure safety, more targeted allocation of patients to home-based services may be warranted. This may optimize degree of participation, and potentially patient outcomes.