CARDIAC rehabilitation is now recognised as an essential part of recovery for someone who has had a heart attack or heart surgery, but why does it have such a high drop out rate?
Cardiac rehabilitation helps patients to understand their condition and make changes to their lifestyle that will help improve their heart health.
For instance if someone has had a heart attack they may be afraid to exercise.
The aim is to help the patient start slowly and work up to a level that is good for the heart.
However, despite the benefits ,these rehabilitation sessions do not always attract the attendance they should. A team of medical students in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin attempted to find out why and asked a sample of patients a series of questions.
Over the course of 18 months, these students found that 14pc of those referred to Beaumont Hospital just did not attend their rehabilitation sessions and 15pc simply dropped out.
In a separate hospital, 42pc did not attend and 4pc dropped out in a 12 month period, revealed their findings, which were presented to the Royal College of Surgeons.
Reasons for non-attendance included "not interested", "feeling too ill," and "ongoing medical investigation".
Reasons for dropping out included "too ill", "not interested" and "moved away".
The researchers found that non-attendees were more likely to be older and live further away from the rehabilitation unit, while drop outs were more likely to be younger, with mental health issues, and are were uninterested in making lifestyle changes.
Most reasons given for non-attendance and drop out in this study were similar to those mentioned in previous studies.
The researchers said that cardiac rehabilitation uptake needs to be improved by addressing the reasons for attrition in patients, through methods such as increasing awareness of its benefits as well as tailoring the programme to different patients.