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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2022 August;58(4):598-605

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.22.07340-3

Copyright © 2022 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC 4.0 license which allows users to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon the manuscript, as long as this is not done for commercial purposes, the user gives appropriate credits to the original author(s) and the source (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license and indicates if changes were made.

language: English

Cardiac telerehabilitation in a middle-income country: analysis of adherence, effectiveness and cost through a randomized clinical trial

Ana P. DE LIMA 2, Danielle G. PEREIRA 1 , Isabella O. NASCIMENTO 1, Thiago H. MARTINS 1, Anne C. OLIVEIRA 1, Tiago S. NOGUEIRA 1, Raquel R. BRITTO 1

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil; 2 University Center of Belo Horizonte (Uni-BH), Belo Horizonte, Brazil



BACKGROUND: The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) are already well established; however, such intervention has been underused, mainly in low- and middle-income countries.
AIM: To compare adherence, effectiveness, and cost of a home CR with the traditional CR (TCR) in a middle-income country (MIC).
DESIGN: Single-blind randomized control trial.
SETTING: A university hospital.
POPULATION: Individuals with coronary disease that were eligible were invited to participate. A randomized sample of 51 individuals was selected, where two participants were not included by not meeting inclusion criteria.
METHODS: The home-CR group participated in health education activities, carried out two supervised exercise sessions, and was instructed to carry out 58 sessions at home. Weekly telephone calls were made. The TCR group held 24 supervised exercise sessions and were instructed to carry out 36 sessions at home.
RESULTS: 49 individuals (42 male, 56.37±10.35years) participated in the study, 23 in the home-CR group and 26 in the TCR group. After the intervention, adherence in the home-CR and TCR groups was 94.18% and 79.08%, respectively, with no significant difference (P=0.191). Both protocols were effective for the other variables, with no differences. The cost per patient for the service was lower in the home-CR (US$ 59.31) than in the TCR group (US$ 135.05).
CONCLUSIONS: CR performed at home in an MIC demonstrated similar adherence and effectiveness compared to the TCR program, but with a lower cost for the service. The results corroborate the possibility of using home CR programs, even in MICs, after exercise risk stratification and under remote supervision.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Home-CR can contribute to overcome participants’ barriers with compatible cost. Home-CR is effective in improving functional capacity and risk factors control. Perform risk stratification and remote supervision are essential to offer Home-CR.


KEY WORDS: Cardiac rehabilitation; Patient compliance; Direct service costs; Home care services

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