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Patient preferences for types of community-based cardiac rehabilitation programme


Introduction Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves mortality, morbidity and quality of life of cardiovascular patients. However, its uptake is poor especially in the hospitals due to long travel distances and office hours constraints. Community-based CR is a possible solution.

Objectives To understand the type of community-based CR preferred and identify patient characteristics associated with certain programme combinations.

Methods A cross-sectional survey was administered to a randomised list of patients at risk for or with cardiovascular diseases at two community-based CR centres. Participants were presented with nine hypothetical choice sets and asked to choose only one of the two alternative programme combinations in each choice set. Attributes include support group presence, cash incentives, upfront deposit and out-of-pocket cost. The counts for each combination were tallied and corrected for repeats. Chi-square test and logistic regression were performed to understand the characteristics associated with the preferred CR combination.

Results After correcting for repeats, patients most (85.2%) prefer CR programmes with new group activities, support group, cash rewards, deposit and out-of-pocket cost, and few exercise equipment with physiotherapist presence without the need for monitoring equipment. Patients with more than three bedrooms in their house are less likely (OR 0.367; CI 0.17 to 0.80; P=0.011) to choose the choice with no physiotherapist and few equipment available.

Conclusion This is the first study to explore patients’ preferences for different types of community CR. Higher income patients prefer physiotherapist presence and are willing to settle for less equipment. Our study serves as a guide for designing future community-based CR programmes.

  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • community cardiology
  • delivery of care
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