Community-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Maintenance Programs: Use and Effects
Nye, Edwin R
Williams, Michael JA
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Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) graduates are encouraged to attend maintenance programs to promote long-term physical activity and preserve gains in function. This study describes the characteristics, attendance and physical function of community-based maintenance CR participants, compared to primary prevention participants. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, participants from two programs in New Zealand completed an interview, anthropometry, functional assessments(walking tests, chair stand test, handgrip strength), a 12-month physical activity recall, and a cardiopulmonary exercise test (subsample only).Attendance was ascertained from club records. Results: Participants (n=56, 55.4% Secondary Prevention)attended 37.4±27.9% of sessions annually. Participants were predominately New Zealand-European(93.5%),retired (80.2%),married (68.3%) elderly individuals, with musculoskeletal problems (60.0%), who lived proximate to the clubs. In Secondary but not Primary Prevention participants, first-year attendance was strongly correlated with attendance in subsequent years (p<0.001). In all participants, greater attendance in the previous 12 months was significantly associated with lower waist circumference, and greater shuttle walk test duration, chair stands and balance (p<.05). Session attendance was positively correlated to peak oxygen consumption (p=0.041)in Secondary Prevention participants only. Conclusion: Participation in community-based CR maintenance programs is associated with health benefits but these programs are not accessed by a diversity of patients.
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