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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014 Feb;21(2):172-80. doi: 10.1177/2047487312469475. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Outcome quality of in-patient cardiac rehabilitation in elderly patients--identification of relevant parameters.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité (CBF) Berlin, Germany.



Outcome quality management requires the consecutive registration of defined variables. The aim was to identify relevant parameters in order to objectively assess the in-patient rehabilitation outcome.


From February 2009 to June 2010 1253 patients (70.9 ± 7.0 years, 78.1% men) at 12 rehabilitation clinics were enrolled. Items concerning sociodemographic data, the impairment group (surgery, conservative/interventional treatment), cardiovascular risk factors, structural and functional parameters and subjective health were tested in respect of their measurability, sensitivity to change and their propensity to be influenced by rehabilitation.


The majority of patients (61.1%) were referred for rehabilitation after cardiac surgery, 38.9% after conservative or interventional treatment for an acute coronary syndrome. Functionally relevant comorbidities were seen in 49.2% (diabetes mellitus, stroke, peripheral artery disease, chronic obstructive lung disease). In three key areas 13 parameters were identified as being sensitive to change and subject to modification by rehabilitation: cardiovascular risk factors (blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides), exercise capacity (resting heart rate, maximal exercise capacity, maximal walking distance, heart failure, angina pectoris) and subjective health (IRES-24 (indicators of rehabilitation status): pain, somatic health, psychological well-being and depression as well as anxiety on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).


The outcome of in-patient rehabilitation in elderly patients can be comprehensively assessed by the identification of appropriate key areas, that is, cardiovascular risk factors, exercise capacity and subjective health. This may well serve as a benchmark for internal and external quality management.


Cardiac rehabilitation; outcome measures; quality management

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