Researchers at the University of York are trying to discover why so many heart attack victims in the UK fail to take part in potentially life-saving cardiac rehabilitation.
A rehabilitation regime, principally involving lifestyle change, reduces mortality from coronary heart disease but, each year, only about a third of the UK’s 350,000 cardiac patients take advantage of it. The NHS National Service Framework for coronary heart disease says that, by 2002, 80 per cent of people, who have bypass surgery or heart attacks, should have been receiving cardiac rehabilitation. A team from the British Heart Foundation-sponsored Care and Education Group in the University’s Department of Health Sciences will carry out the most comprehensive survey ever mounted into reasons for the generally poor take-up in the 400 rehabilitation centres across the UK.
The five-year study, which has been made possible by a £650,000 grant from the BHF, will be the first national audit to also consider psycho-social factors, such as anxiety, depression and quality of life of patients as well as measuring all the relevant medical variables. Several groups – elderly people, women and people from ethnic minorities – are believed to be under-represented among patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation while there is a wide disparity in funding, methods and quality of programmes. The seven-strong team, headed by Professor Bob Lewin, will seek to establish best practice to help cardiac rehabilitation centres to improve their overall performance.
Professor Bob Lewin | alfa
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