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Heart, Lung and Circulation

Improving Cardiac Rehabilitation in Queensland: A Whole of System, Data-Driven Approach Over the Past 10 Years

Published:September 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2022.08.015
      Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in Australia, accounting for 16,600 deaths in 2020 [
      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart, stroke and vascular disease-Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government. 2021. Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, What is coronary heart disease? - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
      ]. According to the Australian Heart Foundation Heart Maps, Queensland has 12 regions in the countries’ top 20 heart disease ‘hotspots’ [
      Heart Foundation. Qld regions home to the nation’s heart-health hotspots, with low exercise and high blood pressure. 2020. Qld regions home to the nation's heart-health hotspots.
      ]. Secondary prevention programs such as cardiac rehabilitation (CR) provide long-term self-management strategies achieved through exercise sessions and lifestyle change education. CR is a critical component of the contemporary management of CHD. Despite its effectiveness [
      • Anderson L.
      • Thompson D.R.
      • Oldridge N.
      • Zwisler A.D.
      • Rees K.
      • Martin N.
      • et al.
      Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease.
      ] attendance rates are persistently low; with ∼10–30% of eligible Australians attending facility-based programs [
      • Astley C.M.
      • Chew D.P.
      • Keech W.
      • Nicholls S.
      • Beltrame J.
      • Horsfall M.
      • et al.
      The Impact of cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention programs on 12-month clinical outcomes: a linked data analysis.
      ]. A lack of systematic referral processes to CR in Australia has resulted in multiple eligible patients not being provided the opportunity to attend [
      • Astley C.M.
      • Neubeck L.
      • Gallagher R.
      • Berry N.
      • Du H.
      • Hill M.N.
      • et al.
      Cardiac rehabilitation: unraveling the complexity of referral and current models of delivery.
      ].

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