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Overview of Cardiac Rehabilitation: The Programme

Which Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) programme is provided?

Which components

The description of phase II components differs little between the countries:

  • supervised exercise sessions with graduated circuit training
  • educational programs including smoking cessation
  • risk factor management
  • food and physical activity counseling
  • psychosocial support

Some examples are: The Netherlands, Egypt, Italy

Type of physical training

Exercise training in patient groups remains the cornerstone of most CR programmes.

In Israel, some centres have added sessions of respiratory muscle training, Tai Chi and Yoga.

In the United Kingdom many programmes also offer individual, home-based rehabilitation such as the Heart Manual programme for those not wishing or unable to attend group programmes, and more recently evidence has demonstrated the utility of web-based cardiac rehabilitation.


The outpatient programme duration varies between countries:


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.


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This first version is derived from 28 "Country of the Month" reports from National CVD Prevention Coordinators of ESC member countries. Additional countries will be incorporated in the next version.