DOI: 10.3390/ijerph21030339 ISSN: 1660-4601

Barriers to Cardiac Rehabilitation among Patients Diagnosed with Cardiovascular Diseases—A Scoping Review

Pupalan Iyngkaran, Pavithra Yapa Appuhamilage, Gayani Patabandige, Prasadi Saubhagya Sarathchandra Peru Kandage, Wania Usmani, Fahad Hanna
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a rising global burden. Preventative strategies such as cardiac rehabilitation (CR) have shown a marked reduction in disease burden. Despite this, CR is underutilized worldwide. This study aims to identify the barriers to CR among patients diagnosed with CVD. Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted following the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) guidelines. Four major databases, including CINAHL, PubMed, EBSCOhost, and Scopus, were used to obtain studies published between 2010 and 2023. Search terms such as “Cardiac rehab*”, “Barrier*”, “Cardiovascular”, “Disease”, and “diagnosis*” were utilized in order to obtain subject-specific studies relevant to the research question. Results: From the initial 2098 studies, only 14 were included in the final analysis, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative designs. The thematic analysis included “healthcare system-related factors”, “Socioeconomic factors”, and “individual characteristics”. Healthcare system-related factors were mostly related to the poor availability of CR programs, lack of proper referral strategies, inadequate knowledge of CR provider and inter-provider communication issues, and lack of alternative methods of CR delivery. The socioeconomic barriers were lack of education, longer distance to CR facilities, high cost of care, unemployment, and poor income status. The identified individual characteristics were female gender, older age, and comorbidities. Conclusions: Lack of resources, poor access, educational attainment, and high cost of care were some of the barriers to CR, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Health policymakers and healthcare providers should implement strategies incorporating the issues identified in this scoping review. Systematic reviews may be required to confirm these findings.

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