In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

Overview of Cardiac Rehabilitation (OCRE) in ESC member countries

Highlights and comparisons of phase II programmes according to the “Country of the Month” reports of National CVD Prevention Coordinators

The importance of Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR):

The WHO report “Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action” (1) demonstrated the importance of developing CR as a normal part of the treatment pathway of heart disease patients and highglighted the need to strengthen rehabilitation in health systems to meet the existing and future needs of populations.


This overview of CR in Europe was prepared by

  • Dr Jorge A. Ruivo, 
  • Professor Ana Abreu, EAPC Cardiac Rehabilitation Chair
  • Professor Paul Dendale, EAPC President-Elect
  • Professor Joep Perk, EAPC Prevention Implementation Committee Deputy-Chair

In this overview section on Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) the reader may find a valuable source of information and inspiration based on the work of the National CVD Prevention Coordinators from ESC member countries.

This first version is derived from 28 "Country of the Month" reports. Additional countries will be incorporated in the next version.

There are many lessons to be learnt!

Highlights and comparisons of phase II programmes

Since most "Country of the Month" reports do not focus on phase I (within the hospital admission period) and phase III (community-based) CR, the purpose of this web section is:

  • to broadly compare the national CR phase II services
  • to reveal contrasting strategies
  • to describe features unique to certain countries

Hopefully, this summary will enable one to feel the pulse of European CR as a whole and highlight successful measure that should be generalised as much as possible.

Online survey results for download

An online survey was sent to National Coordinators of 54 ESC member countries (57% participation rate):

Download the results (pdf)

Six topics

This section is divided in six major topics, with more detailed information from specific countries under each topic:

  1. For whom is cardiac rehabilitation indicated?
    The patient
  2. Which CR programme is provided?
    The programme
  3. By whom is the CR programme conducted?
    The team
  4. Where is the programme offered?
    The centre
  5. What is the quality?
    The outcome
  6. The plans for the future
    The future

Note: The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.


1.  The WHO report: “Rehabilitation 2030: A Call for Action”, February 2017