Cardiac rehabilitation

Published on: 10/02/2016
Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a multi-factorial therapeutic system that includes physical training, education, advice on lifestyle changes and modification of behaviour (with psychological support).

Ischaemic or coronary heart disease is the first cause of death in Spain (33%) and mostly affects males between the ages of 40 and 65. In the workplace, the cardiovascular disease is the second highest cause of fatal work-related accidents in Spain.

Cardiac rehabilitation improves the prognosis of people with coronary heart disease and is associated with a 20-30% reduction in the coronary heart disease mortality rate.

Cardiac rehabilitation is an advanced programme and highly effective

Who can be included in this programme?

Patients with heart disease: after angioplasty +/- STENT due to angina, post AMI, post heart surgery (coronary-bypass, valvular, transplants, and other things) and with controlled heart failure.

How is the risk assessed and controlled?

We grade the risk and carry out a cardiology assessment with effort/rest miocardial SPECT together with musculoskeletal, nutritional and psychological evaluation aimed at preventing possible complications during exercise.

A multidisciplinary group of specialists

  • Cardiologist: Grades patient risk and leads the team when dealing with any enquiry or incident.
  • Medical clinician: Coordinates the whole process and is responsible for giving health education talks, controlling risk factors and carrying out biopsychosocial assessments.
  • Physiotherapist: Specialist who coordinates physical exercises tailored to each patient.
  • Rehabilitation doctor: Person responsible for designing the exercise schedule.
  • Nursing staff: Monitoring and health education of the patients.

Phases of cardiac rehabilitation

PHASE I (Acute)

Begins with hospital admission. Early patient mobility is encouraged and they and their family circle are provided with information, education and psychological support.


It is initiated 4 weeks after hospital discharge. A cardiology assessment is carried out and the risk is graded in order to establish the patient's capacity for exercise. A psychological, social and work-based assessment is also made.


In this unmonitored phase, which covers the rest of their life, the patient must continue doing the phase ll exercise programmes with the support of their primary care doctor or specialist.

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