Does cardiac rehabilitation meet minimum standards: an observational study using UK national audit?

Patrick Joseph Doherty, Ahmad Salman, Gillian Furze, Hayes M Dalal, Alexander Stephen Harrison

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Objective: To assess the extent by which
programmes meet national minimum standards for the
delivery of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) as part of the
National Certification Programme for Cardiovascular
Rehabilitation (NCP_CR).
Methods: The analysis used UK National Audit of
Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR) data extracted and
validated for the period 2013–2014 set against six
NCP_CR measures deemed as important for the
delivery of high-quality CR programmes. Each
programme that achieved a single minimum standard
was given a score of 1. The range of the scoring for
meeting the minimum standards is between 1 and
6. The performance of CR programmes was
categorised into three groups: high (score of 5–6),
middle (scores of 3–4) and low (scores of 1–2). If a
programme did not meet any of the six criteria, they
were considered to have failed.
Results: Data from 170 CR programmes revealed
statistically significant differences among UK CR
programmes. The principal findings were that, based
on NCP_CR criteria, 30.6% were assessed as high
performance with 45.9% as midlevel performance
programmes, 18.2% were in the lower-level and 5.3%
failed to meet any of the minimum criteria.
Conclusions: This study shows that high levels of
performance is achievable in the era of modern
cardiology and that many CR programmes are close to
meeting high performance standards. However,
substantial variation, below the recommended
minimum standards, exists throughout the UK.
National certification should be seen as a positive step
to ensure that patients, irrespective of where they live,
are accessing quality services.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000519
Pages (from-to)e000519
Number of pages5
JournalOpen Heart
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2017

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© 2016, The Author(s).

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