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The low participation rate in cardiac rehabilitation programs is the major reason for rehospitalization, morbidity, and mortality. Home-based cardiac rehabilitation by technological means is an essential component of a “patient-centered” approach, which is capable of enhancing the participation rate in rehabilitation programs.
The aim of this research was to examine attitudes, perceptions, and behavioral intentions toward remote digital cardiac rehabilitation (RDCR) with respect to factors such as age, education, smoking, exercise habits, technological illiteracy, and mobile phone behavior.
This was a cross-sectional study of 200 adult patients discharged from a hospital after an acute coronary syndrome, cardiac surgery, or percutaneous coronary intervention. All patients answered an anonymous Technology Usage Questionnaire, which examined the relationship between their willingness to participate in the RDCR program and various parameters. The surveys were distributed and completed between July 2017 and November 2017 at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.
Overall, 83% of all participants were interested in participating in the RDCR program. Those with heart failure had a greater interest in the program (100%; p < 0.05), whereas patients after coronary bypass surgery had a lesser interest (71.1%; p < 0.05). The level of attitude toward healthy lifestyle was found to be a significant predictor of willingness to participate in RDCR (odds ratio 2.26; p = 0.01). Sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle, habits, technological knowledge, age, and gender were not found as significant predictors of interest in RDCR.
The RDCR program was acceptable to most cardiac patients, including the elderly population, and could be a potential solution for patients who avoid traditional rehabilitation programs in medical centers.
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