Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2003;56:775-82 - Vol. 56 Num.08

Incorporation of cardiac rehabilitation programs and their characteristics in the Spanish National Health Service

Soledad Márquez-Calderón a, Román Villegas Portero b, Eduardo Briones Pérez de la Blanca b, Víctor Sarmiento González-Nieto b, Margarita Reina Sánchez c, Ignacio Sáinz Hidalgo d, José A Velasco Rami e, Francisco Ridocci Soriano e

a Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública. Granada. Spain.
b Agencia de Evaluación de Tecnologías Sanitarias de Andalucía. Sevilla. Spain.
c Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Valme. Sevilla. Spain.
d Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Valme. Sevilla. España. Grupo de Trabajo de Rehabilitación Cardíaca de la Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Madrid. Spain.
e Hospital General Universitario. Valencia. Spain.

Keywords

Exercise. Heart diseases. Delivery of health care.

Abstract

Objectives. To estimate the degree of incorporation of cardiac rehabilitation in the Spanish National Health Service, to describe the characteristics of the programs, and to report on the opinions of those responsible for them regarding their progress. Patients and method. Cardiac rehabilitation centers were identified from different sources. A questionnaire which included items about coverage, resources, activities and services, selection of patients, and opinions was mailed to the heads of all units. Results. Twelve public centers with cardiac rehabilitation programs were identified. Cardiac rehabilitation was offered to 53% of all eligible patients. All units treated patients with myocardial infarction, 64% treated those with heart failure; and 60% high risk patients. Approximately 10-19% of all patients were women. The physicians involved most frequently in programs were cardiologists; nonmedical professionals who participated most often were physiotherapists, and 64% of all units had a staff psychologist. Phase II rehabilitation was provided by all units, and phase III treatment was provided mainly by units that operated in coordination with out-patient services (45%). All units provided physical exercise training and counseling about the disease and risk factors, and 73% of them provided psychological support. The main reasons cited for providing rehabilitation were its efficacy and ability to prevent illness; and the main barriers to more widespread use were lack of resources and support. About three-fourths (73%) of all doctors interviewed thought that primary health care centers could play an important role in rehabilitation programs. Conclusions. Cardiac rehabilitation is poorly implemented in the Spanish National Health Service. The most significant differences between programs were related to the inclusion of high risk patients and with a diagnosis other than myocardial infarction, coordination with out-patient services, and provision of phase III rehabilitation.

1885-5857/© 2003 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved

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