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What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help cardiac patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical and mental functioning. The goal is to reduce the risk of another cardiac event or to keep an already present heart condition from getting worse.


What is prevention?

Prevention is any activity which reduces the burden of mortality or morbidity from disease. This takes place at primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention levels.


What is primary prevention?

Primary prevention avoids the development of a disease. Most population based health promotion activities are primary preventive measures.


What is secondary prevention?

Secondary prevention activities are aimed at early disease detection, thereby increasing opportunities for interventions to prevent progression of the disease and emergence of symptoms.


What is tertiary prevention?

Tertiary prevention reduces the negative impact of an already established disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications.


What type of prevention is cardiac rehabilitation?

Tertiary prevention

Reduces the negative impact of an already established disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications.


What are the four main components of cardiac rehabilitation?

  1. Medical Evaluation
  2. Physical Activity
  3. Lifestyle Modifications
  4. Psychological Support


What is the use of medical evaluation in cardiac rehabilitation?

Evaluation helps to assess physical abilities, medical limitations and other possible risk factors.


What is the use of physical activity in cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiovascular fitness is improved through walking, rowing, or other endurance type activities


What is the use of lifestyle modifications for cardiac rehabilitation?

guidance on diet, nutrition, and weight management


What is the use of psychological support in cardiac rehabilitation?

Adjusting to a serious health problem, depression, and anxiety is addressed in support groups


What do cardiac rehabilitation programs include?

  1. Counseling so the patient can understand and manage the disease process
  2. Beginning an exercise program
  3. Helping the patient modify risk factors such as high BP, smoking, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes. Evidence suggests that imporving the plasma lipid and lipoprotein profile with diet, excercise and drug therapy benefits patients. Those who quit smoking significantly reduce their risk of another heart attack, sudden death, stroke, and total mortality compared with those who continue to smoke
  4. Providing vocational guidance to enable the patient to return to work
  5. Supplying information on physical limitations
  6. Lending emotional support


What are the three phases of cardiac rehabilitation?

Phase I

Phase II

Phase III


What is phase I of cardiac rehabilitation?

Begins with the diagnosis of atherosclerosis, unstable angina or after an AMI. Phase I consists of low level activities and patient/family education focusing on self-care acitivities.


What is Phase II of cardiac rehabilitation?

Occurs after the patient is discharged and lasts 4-6 weeks. This phase consists of supervised exercise training sessions. Education converning the disease process and counseling related to life style modifications are the major components.


What is Phase III of cardiac rehabilitation?

This phase focuses on supporting self-directed behaviors that improve cardiac stability and conditioning


Who can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation?

  1. Myocardial infarction
  2. Coronary artery disease
  3. Heart failure
  4. Peripheral arterial disease
  5. Angina
  6. Cardiomyopathy
  7. Certain congential heart diseases
  8. Coronary artery bypass surgery
  9. Valve replacements

In years past, cardiac rehabiliation was often suggested only for people who were younger and needed hekp getting in shape to return to work after an AMI or surgery. It was thought too risky or of too little benefit for anyone else. Today, with improved programs and close medical monitoring, cardiac rehabilitation is an option for people of all ages and with many forms of heart disease.

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