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11-06-2012 | Cardiology | Article

Factors influencing female cardiac rehabilitation participation identified


Meeting website

MedWire News: Addressing transportation issues upon referral to cardiac rehabilitation may improve attendance at intake assessment in women, suggest study findings presented at the American College of Sports Medicine 59th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, USA.

Despite the benefit of cardiac rehabilitation, many women do not attend their first appointment, or intake assessment. "Once they are referred to a cardiac rehabilitation, women are less likely to attend their intake assessment compared with their male counterparts," said study investigator Mireille Landry (Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Canada) in an associated press release.

She added: "Little attention has been paid to the barriers that may negatively influence a woman to complete her intake assessment."

A telephone survey was completed by 169 women referred to cardiac rehabilitation during 2008-2010 but who did not attend their intake assessment. The survey included a demographic questionnaire, open-ended questions regarding perceived barriers to attending the intake assessment, the Cardiac Exercise Self-Efficacy Instrument, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Barriers Scale. Findings were compared with those from 502 women who completed their intake assessment.

In total, 53 of the 169 women who did not attend their first appointment participated in the study. Depression (42%) and arthritis (55%) were the most frequently reported comorbidities among women, with arthritis significantly more common among women who did not attend their intake assessment compared with those who did.

In addition, cholesterol problems and smoking were significantly more common in women who did not attend their first appointment. Family and work responsibilities, fatigue, and anxiety were frequently cited as reasons for not attending the intake assessment.

The researchers reported that distance and transportation matters were cited as a specific barrier to attending cardiac rehabilitation sessions by 26% of patients. Furthermore, distance to the rehabilitation centre was significantly greater among nonattendees, and 28% of patients went on to attend cardiac rehabilitation closer to their homes.

The study findings indicate that participation in cardiac rehabilitation by women can be improved by evaluation of factors influencing access to care, including addressing transportation factors at the onset of referral.

By Ingrid Grasmo

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