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Cardiac Rehabilitation Online Pilot

Extending Reach of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Higgins, Rosemary O. DPsych, MAPS, MCHP; Rogerson, Michelle PhD; Murphy, Barbara M. PhD; Navaratnam, Hema MPsych; Butler, Michael V. BAppSc(physio); Barker, Lauren BPhysio; Turner, Alyna PhD; Lefkovits, Jeffrey MBBS, FRACP, FCSANZ; Jackson, Alun C. PhD

doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000297
ARTICLES: Cardiac Rehabilitation
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Background: While cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is recommended for all patients after an acute cardiac event, limitations exist in reach.

Objective: The purpose of the current study was to develop and pilot a flexible online CR program based on self-management principles “Help Yourself Online.”

Methods: The program was designed as an alternative to group-based CR as well as to complement traditional CR. The program was based on existing self-management resources developed previously by the Heart Research Centre. Twenty-one patients admitted to Cabrini Health for an acute cardiac event were recruited to test the program. The program was evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Results: Quantitative results demonstrated that patients believed the program would assist them in their self-management. Qualitative evaluation, using focus group and interview methods with 15 patients, showed that patients perceived the online CR approach to be a useful instrument for self-management.

Conclusions: Broader implications of the data include the acceptability of the intervention, timing of intervention delivery, and patients’ desire for additional online community support.

Rosemary O. Higgins, DPsych, MAPS, MCHP Senior Research Fellow and Director Workforce and Programs, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne; Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Deakin University; and Health Psychologist, Cabrini Health, Malvern; and Honorary Senior Fellow, Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Michelle Rogerson, PhD Research Fellow, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Barbara M. Murphy, PhD Deputy Director and Director of Research, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne; Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne; and Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia.

Hema Navaratnam, MPsych Research Fellow, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne; and Psychologist, Cabrini Health, Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

Michael V. Butler, BAppSc(physio) General Manager, Rehabilitation & Allied Health, Cabrini Health, Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

Lauren Barker, BPhysio Manager, Allied Health & Ambulatory Services, Cabrini Health, Malvern, Victoria, Australia.

Alyna Turner, PhD Senior Research Fellow, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Jeffrey Lefkovits, MBBS, FRACP, FCSANZ Interventional Cardiologist, Cabrini Health, Malvern; and Interventional Cardiologist, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Alun C. Jackson, PhD Director, Heart Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Honorary Professor, Centre on Behavioural Health, Hong Kong University; and Honorary Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

This study was funded by HCF Health and Medical Research Foundation.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence Rosemary O. Higgins, DPsych, MAPS, MCHP, Heart Research Centre, Box 2137 Post Office, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia 3050 (rosemary.higgins@heartresearchcentre.org).

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