Improving Delivery of Patient-Centered Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation involves exercise training, education, and lifestyle counseling for patients with cardiac conditions. Home and center-based cardiac rehabilitation programs, if followed by patients, are equally effective in their benefits on risk factors, health-related quality of life, death, and clinical events following acute myocardial infarction or coronary revascularization.

Dr. Whooley's current study of patient-centered cardiac rehabilitation compares the effectiveness of existing cardiac rehabilitation programs at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. The San Francisco VA offers a home-based (but not a center-based) cardiac rehabilitation program to patients who are hospitalized for myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass grafting. The Ann Arbor and Pittsburgh sites offer a center-based cardiac rehabilitation to the same group of patients. This PCORI-funded study looks to determine whether automatic referral to home- vs. center-based cardiac rehabilitation increases patient participation in rehabilitation and determine whether the effects of home vs. center-based CR differ by various factors like age, gender, race, and/or, distance from medical center.