What is EVCR

Cardiac rehabilitation is a set of services that enables people with coronary heart disease (CHD) to have the best possible help (physical, psychological and social) to preserve or resume their optimal functioning in society. There is evidence that cardiac rehabilitation reduces the risk of total and cardiac related mortality, subsequent revascularisation and occurrence of non-fatal Heart Attack. Evidence also suggests that it results in improving people's ability to work, their physical capacity and their perceived quality of life. Cardiac rehabilitation is an established therapy and comprises mainly of supervised exercise training, relaxation and education.

Cardiac rehabilitation should not be regarded as an isolated form or stage of therapy, but be integrated within secondary prevention services. Cardiac rehabilitation services are no longer exclusively hospital based; emphasis is placed on helping patients become active self-managers of their condition and this can involve hospital, home and community based cardiac rehabilitation programmes, all of which are effective. Collaboration between primary and secondary care services is vital in order to achieve the best cardiac rehabilitation outcomes.

Rehabilitation supports and encourages changes and helps people set and work towards realist and achievable personal goals to restore their health and return to normal life.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence(NICE), which makes recommendations for gold standard and cost-effective treatments in England and Wales, says that every patient who has a heart attack should be offered rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation is still not accessible to 60 per cent of the patients who want to take part.

Some Facts

  • More than 30 years of scientific research have proved that rehabilitation is one of the most effective life-saving treatments available. Heart patients who do not take part in cardiac rehabilitation are 25 per cent more likely to die in the following five years.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation also helps people with heart condition to look at their life, make necessary changes, avoid further problems and to get back on their feet again - physically, emotionally, socially and vocationally.
  • When provided by suitable staffed and resourced teams, underpinned by good clinical guidelines, cardiac rehabilitation can improve lifestyle, reduce hospital admissions, improve quality of life, reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety and depression.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation is not expensive.

Further information can be found at Cardiac Care and Rehabilitation or at British Heart Foundation