What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and/or lifestyle sessions offered to cardiac patients after they’ve had a cardiac event. It is designed to help patients get back on their feet – both physically and mentally – after a cardiac event or procedure. It can involve gym sessions or other tailored exercise, dietary advice, education, and/or emotional support.
Benefits and Importance
Cardiac rehabilitation can help patients and their family/carers understand how a cardiac event or procedure might affect you and how best to manage your health. It can help you make changes to your lifestyle to improve your health and help keep your heart healthy. It gives you a chance to talk to specialised nurses, and other patients who have had events, so you can share experiences and learn from each other. Recognition of your condition and rehab is an ongoing lifestyle choice that you will be encouraged to decide upon once you have completed the programme, therefore it is of vital importance to include your family to support you at every stage in your recovery, enabling inclusive and ongoing beneficial changes that they too will enjoy.
How to find and access a programme
Someone from the rehabilitation team will usually come and see you while you’re in hospital, and tell you about what rehabilitation programme is available after you are discharged. If you haven’t had any information about it, you can use the cardiac rehab register on this website to find your nearest programme, using a postcode search function, and you can ask your GP to refer you to a programme.
What conditions are treated?
If you’ve had a heart attack (MI / Myocardial Infarction), a coronary angioplasty (PCI / Stent), or heart surgery you should be offered cardiac rehabilitation. You may also be eligible if you have angina or heart failure, or if you’ve had an ICD. Different programmes may offer rehab to different patient populations – the individual programme entries on the register should outline who they offer rehabilitation to.
Is there disabled access / provision
Ideally programmes should offer tailored rehabilitation for different groups of patients, including those who are unable to attend a standard gym programme, but this may depend on the facilities and staffing the programme has available.
Each cardiac rehabilitation programme listed on the register has its own ‘page’ to outline details of the rehab they offer. When you search using the register, and click on the programme nearest to you, it will bring up a box that looks like this:
If you click on ‘Website’ this will bring up a page that should give such details as:
- About the Programme – eg. days, times, venues
- What to expect when you come
- How long it takes
- Other General Information eg. What to wear, and what to bring with you.
BHF Cardiac Rehab Resources
National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation: Patient consent and confidentiality (Patrick Doherty - BACPR 2015)