By whom is the Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) programme conducted?
The multi-disciplinary structure of the CR team (usually comprising a physician, nurse, physiotherapist, dietician, psychologist and social worker) is relatively consistent across all countries with some differences:
Cardiologists are usually programme coordinators (Israel, Ireland, Russia, Portugal, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium and France), but even rehabilitation specialists may take the lead (Estonia, Portugal and Bosnia and Herzegovina). In several countries nurses and/or physiotherapists are in charge (United Kingdom, Sweden, Malta, Malta, Greece).
In Israel, Egypt,Portugal, United Kingdom, and Greece an exercise physiologist/masters may be welcomed to the phase II team working in team with the physiotherapists. On the contrary, phase II exercise classes in Ireland, Poland, Lebanon, Spain, Malta, Italy and Belgium are only run by physiotherapists
Although Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is strongly recommended by the 2016 European Guidelines on CVD Prevention in Clinical Practice there are few recommendations for formal education of the CR team members.
In general, the 2016 European Guidelines on CVD Prevention in Clinical Practice are applied, but several countries have specific national guidelines: Belgium , France, Estonia, Israel, Italy and Slovenia.
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.