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heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

For Professionals: Cardiac Rehabilitation Patient Resources

Key takeaways

  • Research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) improves cardiac risk factor profile, reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of life. 
  • Unfortunately, the Australian rates of referral and attendance of cardiac rehabilitation are low. 
  • The Heart Foundation offers support programs and several resources to help you promote and educate patients on the merits of cardiac rehab.
Cardiac rehabilitation gives your patients support, guidance and intervention to assist their recovery and support long-term lifestyle changes. Research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation can improve cardiac risk factor profile, reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of life.1,2,3

The Heart Foundation strongly recommends that all Australians are referred to and attend a cardiac rehabilitation program after a heart event.  

Australian rates of referral and attendance of cardiac rehabilitation are low. A recent Australian study of 49,000 patients showed that only 30% of eligible patients were referred to cardiac rehabilitation and of these only 28% attended4. Many patients leave the hospital without a conversation about the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and a referral to their closest service. 

Resources to support cardiac rehabilitation patients 

As an effective intervention with immediate and long-term benefit, cardiac rehabilitation is an opportunity to support your patients’ recovery. The Heart Foundation has developed several resources to help providers refer and encourage patients to participate in a local or online cardiac rehabilitation program: 

Six Steps to Cardiac Recovery: A guide to your conversation with patients about key recovery messages after their heart event. Download it here.  

Cardiac Rehabilitation Video Series: This video series helps you explain the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation to your patients through the narratives of patients who have attended. 

Cardiac Rehabilitation Flyer: This will help patients understand the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and what it involves. Download it here.

Heart Failure and Support Service Fact Sheet: You may use this to promote rehab programs to your heart failure patients. Download it here. 

Cardiac Services Directory: This enables you to find a local cardiac rehabilitation service to refer your patients to by searching the online directory by postcode. Search the online Cardiac Services Directory. 

Heart Foundation Helpline at 13 11 12: A free support service where trained health professionals offer support to patients and can help them find an appropriate cardiac rehabilitation service. If you cannot refer a patient to cardiac rehabilitation, ensure they know of the Helpline who can offer support. Contact the hepline.

My Heart My Life program: This free support program is for patients and carers who have recently experienced a heart attack or angina episode. The Heart Foundation offers patients support calls from our Helpline, education booklets and SMS and email support journey. The program offers additional patient support and is not a replacement for cardiac rehab. A trial journey is available for health professionals. Visit My Heart My Life.


References

1 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487320913379

2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26442971/

3 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2047487320913379

4 https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=The+Impact+of+Cardiac+Rehabilitation+and+Secondary+Prevention+Programs+on+12-Month+Clinical+Outcomes:+A+Linked+Data+Analysis+Carolyn+M.+Astley,+RN,+DrPH&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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