Cardiac Rehab Barriers Vary Globally According to Region

Barriers included not knowing about cardiac rehabilitation, not being contacted by the program, cost, and finding exercise tiring or painful
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) barriers vary globally according to region, according to a study published online Sept. 24 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Gabriela Lima de Melo Ghisi, P.T., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues examined sex differences in CR barriers across all world regions. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Barriers Scale was administered to CR-indicated patients globally from October 2021 to March 2023 in a cross-sectional study. A total of 2,163 participants (42.3 percent women) from 16 countries were included in the analysis.

The researchers found that women did not report significantly greater total barriers overall but did report barriers in the Americans and Western Pacific, while men reported barriers in the Eastern Mediterranean. The greatest barriers for women were reported in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asian regions, with the greatest barrier in both regions being the lack of CR awareness. Significantly greater barriers were reported by women who were versus those who were not unemployed. Not knowing about CR, not being contacted by the program, cost, and finding exercise tiring or painful were the greatest barriers reported among nonenrolled referred women. The greatest barriers to session adherence were distance, transportation, and family responsibilities among enrolled women. Strategies for mitigation were rated as very helpful.

"Patients may have legitimate barriers to attending CR, but we recommend they discuss them with health care providers, as there are proven strategies to overcome them," coauthor Sherry L. Grace, Ph.D., from York University in Toronto, said in a statement. "Please help spread the word that CR is available in most countries of the world and saves lives!"

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