Examining the effectiveness of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programs for heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction: a critical review

Shahram Darvishzadehdaledari, Alexander Harrison, Fatemeh Gholami, Arian Azadnia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) is the most common cardiovascular reason for hospital admission, particularly among patients older than 60 years old. Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) comprises approximately 50% of all heart failure cases. Home-based cardiac rehabilitation (HBCR) is an alternative option to enhance the participation rate in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) interventions for patients who are not able to attend center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR). The purpose of this review is to clarify the extent to which present studies of HBCR align with the core components defined by both the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the British Association for Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR).

METHODS: A critical review was conducted through four databases, MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, to identify randomized controlled trials up until June 2022. We scrutinized the commonalities between BACPR and ESC and developed a list of standards. The risk of bias was assessed using the RoB 2 tool.

RESULTS: Among the 87 papers selected for full-text screening, 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. Six papers possessed a high proportion of fidelity to essential standards, four studies had a medium alliance, and one intervention had a low level of alliance.

CONCLUSION: Overall, the majority of included studies had medium to high alignment with standards and core components. However, a need for more attention to long-term strategy as an important standard is revealed. Rapid identification and initial assessment are the most met standards; however, lifestyle risk factor management and long-term outcomes were recognized as the least met standards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number593
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).


  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Heart Failure/therapy
  • Stroke Volume
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Cardiology

Cite this