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J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2012 Nov;13(11):727-34. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0b013e32835794c1.

Cardiac rehabilitation services in Ontario: components, models and underserved groups.

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  • 1York University, Faculty of Health, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Cardiac rehabilitation programs develop in accordance with guidelines, but also in response to local needs and resources. This study evaluated features of Ontario cardiac rehabilitation programs in accordance with guidelines, emerging evidence and treating underserved populations.


In this cross-sectional study, all Ontario cardiac rehabilitation programs were mailed an investigator-generated survey. Responses were received from 38 of 45 (84.4%) programs.


Twenty-seven (71.1%) cardiac rehabilitation programs were located within a hospital. Twenty-four (63.2%) programs reported that they offer two sessions of exercise and education per week. Twenty-six (68.4%) programs offered an alternative model of program delivery other than on-site, with 10 (27.0%) programs reporting they tailored their programs to rural patients. Twenty-three (62.2%) programs provided services to patients with a noncardiac primary indication. Twenty-six (68.4%) programs systematically screened patients for depressive symptoms. Twenty-seven (71.1%) offered resources to patients postgraduation.


Most cardiac rehabilitation programs offered alternative models of care, such as home-based rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation sites are well integrated within their community, enabling smooth postcardiac rehabilitation transitions for patients. Cardiac rehabilitation programs continue to offer proven comprehensive components, while simultaneously attempting to adapt to meet the needs of patients with other chronic diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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