Adherence of Older Cardiac Patients to a Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
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Referral to home-based cardiac rehabilitation (HBCR) is low among older and frailer patients due to low expectations regarding adherence by healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to determine adherence to HBCR when old and frail patients are referred, and to explore any differences in baseline characteristics between adherent and nonadherent patients. Data of the Cardiac Care Bridge were used (Dutch trial register NTR6316). The study included hospitalized cardiac patients ≥ 70 years old and at high risk of functional loss. Adherence to HBCR was confirmed when two-thirds of the intended nine sessions were followed. Of the 153 patients included (age: 82 ± 6 years, 54% female), 29% could not be referred due to death before referral, not returning home, or practical problems. Of the 109 patients who were referred, 67% adhered. Characteristics associated with non-adherence were older age (84 ± 6 vs. 82 ± 6, p = 0.05) and higher handgrip strength in men (33 ± 8 vs. 25 ± 11, p = 0.01). There was no difference in comorbidity, symptoms, or physical capacity. Based on these observations, most older cardiac patients who return home after hospital admission appear to adhere to HBCR after referral, suggesting that most older cardiac patients are motivated and capable of receiving HBCR.