Cardiac rehabilitation is of key importance to ameliorate long-term morbidity and mortality resulting from cardiac intervention. However, much of the current literature is dense, unwelcoming and academic in style and format. For those physicians understanding the scope of cardiac rehabilitation there is a need to distill the guidelines and various management options available to them into a concise practical manual. Up until now, all references have looked at the general options, but there is definite need to investigate the practicalities of individual patient groups.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to assist in the quick recovery of cardiac patients while improving their overall physical, mental and social functioning. The goal is to stabilize, slow or even reverse progression of cardiovascular disease, reducing the future risk of heart disease, another cardiac event or death. Cardiac rehabilitation programs include:
Counseling: so the patient can understand and manage their own disease process including nutritional changes
Beginning an exercise program, while supplying information on the physical limits
Helping the patient modify secondary risk factors such as managing hypertension, smoking cessation, reducing blood cholesterol levels, reducing physical inactivity, obesity and managing diabetes.
Lending emotional support and counseling on appropriate use of prescribed medications
There is a need for practical guidance among all professionals involved in the management of these patients, from residents and fellows of cardiology and internal medicine, surgical teams, physiotherapy professionals, critical care physicians and family medicine practitioners