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The role of the therapist in cardiovascular and diabetes rehabilitation

Jean-Paul Schmid, Cardiac Rehabilitation Section Chair

For the first time in the history of EuroPRevent a joint session between sports scientists / sports therapists and sports cardiologists took place in Dublin.

Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Topic was “The role of the therapist in cardiovascular and diabetes rehabilitation” and very interesting lectures were held by Prof B. Bjarnason-Wehrens and Dr. M. Wilhelm about what sports scientists and sports cardiologists can learn from each other, chaired by Prof H. Saner and Prof A. Jegier.

Aim was to show that exercise based cardiac rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary challenge and that the exercise/sports scientist is a well educated, indispensable expert who needs to be part of the rehabilitation team.

However, special accreditation for exercise therapies working in this field exists only in few European countries. Regarding their role, Dr. Wilhelm pointed out that a sports cardiologist is the one who prescribes sports for patients with heart disease and the sports scientists is the one to conduct the right training form.

In her lecture, Dr. G. Haager showed that it is essential to bring all those doing the practical work in cardiac rehabilitation centres together in a framework like the EACPR to form a Study Group of Cardiovascular and Diabetes exercise/sport therapists. The aim is to form a professional network and exchange platform and to organise educational activities like the one this year at EuroPRevent.

Under the auspices of the nucleus of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section of the EACPR, sports scientists, exercise-, sports- and physiotherapists are encouraged to contribute to this new initiative. Those who are interested in taking a more active role are invited to apply for a position within this study group by sending a CV and a vision statement to Prof Birna Bjarnason-Wehrens who will kindly act as the patron of this new interest group.

A kick off meeting of the study group and a special programme for exercise-, sports- and physiotherapists as well as joint sessions are planned for EuroPRevent in Rome 2013!