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Reading: Availability, Use, and Barriers to Cardiac Rehabilitation in LMIC

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Original Research

Availability, Use, and Barriers to Cardiac Rehabilitation in LMIC

Authors:

Loheetha Ragupathi ,

Division of Cardiology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, US
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Judy Stribling,

Samuel J. Wood Library, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, US
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Yuliya Yakunina,

Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US
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Valentin Fuster,

Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US; Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Madrid, ES
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Mary Ann McLaughlin,

Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US
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Rajesh Vedanthan

Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US
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Abstract

Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a cornerstone of secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease. It is critically important in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), where the burden of ischemic heart disease is substantial and growing. However, the availability and utilization of CR in LMIC is not systematically known.

Objectives: This study sought to characterize the availability, use, and barriers to the use of CR.

Methods: Electronic databases (Cochrane Library, EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science) were searched from January 1, 1980 to May 31, 2013 for articles on CR in LMIC. Citations on availability, use, and/or barriers to CR were screened for inclusion by title, abstract, and full text. Data were summarized by region or country to determine the characteristics of CR in LMIC and gaps in the peer-reviewed biomedical publications.

Results: Our search yielded a total of 5,805 citations, of which 34 satisfied full inclusion and exclusion criteria. The total number of CR programs available ranged from 1 in Algeria and Paraguay to 51 in Serbia. Referral rates for CR ranged from 5.0% in Mexico to 90.3% in Lithuania. Attendance rates ranged from 31.7% in Bulgaria to 95.6% in Lithuania, and CR attendance was correlated with higher educational background. The most commonly cited barrier to CR in LMIC was lack of physician referral.

Conclusions: Our results illustrate that the published reports reflects heterogeneity of CR availability and use in LMIC. Overall, CR is insufficiently available and underutilized. Further characterization of CR in LMIC, especially in Asia and Africa, is necessary to develop targeted strategies to improve availability and utilization. Patient, physician, and systems factors must be addressed to overcome barriers to participation in CR in LMIC.

Highlights

  • Availability of cardiac rehabilitation in LMIC does not match the growing burden of CVD.
  • Utilization of cardiac rehabilitation is suboptimal; physician referral is a prominent barrier.
  • Interventions to improve cardiac rehabilitation availability and use must address local context.
How to Cite: Ragupathi L, Stribling J, Yakunina Y, Fuster V, McLaughlin MA, Vedanthan R. Availability, Use, and Barriers to Cardiac Rehabilitation in LMIC. Global Heart. 2017;12(4):323–34. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2016.09.004
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Published on 01 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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