According to a new study conducted by researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, York University, and University Health Network (UHN), the quality of cardiac rehabilitation programs across Canada is strong but with specific areas now identified as needing further enhancement to improve patient outcomes. The study, to be published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, measured 14 key quality indicators in 10 cardiac rehabilitation programs across Canada and assessed more than 5,500 cardiac patients.

A UHN news release notes that the criteria examined included: accessibility, wait times, referrals, secondary prevention, behaviour changes and psychosocial measures. The results of the study found that cardiac rehabilitation programs are successful in the following areas: assessing patients’ body composition (85%), measuring blood pressure (90%), increasing exercise capacity (68%), and offering cessation therapy to patients who smoke (61%).

The UHN news release also indicates that measuring blood sugar in diabetic patients and assessment of depression were the areas that requires improvement.

Barry Rubin, BSc, MD, CM, PhD, FRCSC, says, “With tens of thousands of new patients across Canada being treated for heart disease each year, it is imperative that patients participate in the program of exercise and education that form the basis for cardiac rehab as part of their recovery, to prevent their risk of experiencing another serious cardiac event. This leading-edge study makes that goal more attainable.”

Sherry Grace, PhD, “Being able to rigorously evaluate and compare across cardiac rehabilitation programs nationally means gaps can be addressed and changes made, to ultimately benefit patients who have heart disease.”

Source: University Health Network