Outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation participants and nonparticipants in a rural area.

Bernice C. Yates, Jana L. Braklow-Whitton, Sangeeta Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Nationally, only 11%-20% of cardiac patients, on average, enroll in cardiac rehabilitation programs after their cardiac events. The purpose of this study was to examine: (a) differences in functional health outcomes, clinical risk factor outcomes, and lifestyle behaviors between patients who participated in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and those who did not during the first year after their cardiac event; and (b) to examine predictors of and reasons for CR participation and non-participation in a Midwestern, rural clinical population. Green's health education framework guided the study. A cross-sectional, comparative design was used to mail surveys to 538 cardiac patients who were hospitalized over a 1-year period at a regional medical center; 255 surveys were returned, and the final sample numbered 222. Of these, 154 (69%) attended CR. Compared to nonparticipants (n = 68), participants reported significantly higher levels of functioning on 7 of the 8 subscales of the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 (SF-36). In relation to clinical risk factor outcomes, participants had a significantly lower body mass index than nonparticipants. Patients who attended CR reported that they had switched to low-fat foods, started an exercise program, lost weight, lowered stress, lowered blood pressure, and reduced blood cholesterol at significantly higher rates than non-participants. Patients were more likely to participate in CR if their physician explained its benefits, if they were told about it during their hospitalization, and if they lived close to a CR program. Patients with coronary heart disease need to be referred to CR for improved physical and psychosocial functioning and successful risk factor modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalRehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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