DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.16487 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 16487: Implementation of a Web-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program in Rural Australia Improves Access

Katie Nesbitt, Stephanie Champion, Jonathon Foote, Lemlem G Gebremichael, Robyn A Clark, Alline Beleigoli
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Introduction: Involvement in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs reduces death, reoccurring cardiac events, also improving quality of life. Globally, CR attendance and completion is poor, with referral and non-attendance rates ranging from 20-50%.

Hypothesis: To evaluate the effectiveness of an interactive web-based CR program as an alternative mode of delivery, to improve access and attendance.

Methods: The RE-AIM implementation framework. Patients eligible for CR, residing in a rural and remote areas between July 2021-June 2022

Results: A total of 828 rural patients participated, 50 choosing the web-based mode of delivery. Web patients were younger, (60, SD 11.9 vs 68.5 years, SD 11.9; p<0.001). Sex distribution did not differ between web and non-web, 17 (34%) males in web and 195 (23.5%) non-web (p=0.167). Myocardial infarction was the predominant reason for referral in both groups (64.3% vs 35.6%, p=0.049). Mean BMI was higher in the web compared to non-web (33.6, SD 8.0 vs 29.8, SD 6.0; p=0.025). Program completion was higher for non-web than for the web-based patients (17; 34% vs 553;71.4% p=<0.001). Web-based patients reported overall program satisfaction (77.8%). Clinicians reported the web-based program as high quality (71.4%). There was an increase in web-based enrolments with concurrent reduction in usual care resulting from COVID pandemic restrictions. Patient fidelity to entry of self-reported data was high in the web-based with all patients completing a pre-assessment and 50% a post-assessment. Change in risk factor control did not differ between the groups. There was no significant difference in patients’ preference by age or gender for web-based or other modes of CR. Web-based program enrolment was associated with a lower chance of CR completion (OR 0.19; 95% CI: 0.100, 0.372; p<0.001) after adjustment for age and gender.

Conclusions: The web-based program provides an alternative flexible mode to complete CR, having met the demands of COVID pandemic restrictions. It has been integrated and successfully used by patients and clinicians, capturing a cohort who fit into the 20-50% not attending a CR program. Strategies for improving completion of web-based programs need further investigation.

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