Improving cardiac rehabilitation services - Challenges for cardiac rehabilitation coordinators

Ritin S. Fernandez, Patricia Davidson, Rhonda Griffiths, Yenna Salamonson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a long term multifactorial rehabilitation program aimed at the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. However, delivery of CR services is less than optimal. Aim: This study explored the perceptions of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) coordinators relating to challenges for improving the delivery of CR services. Methods: The study design used qualitative, semi-structured in-depth telephone interviews with 20 CR coordinators from NSW Australia. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and thematic content analysis was undertaken to identify common themes. Results: Twenty CR coordinators participated in the study. Three major themes including obstacles to delivering cardiac rehabilitation services, challenges in achieving continuity and coordination, and complexities in delivering evidence-based health care were identified. Study findings indicate that limited service capacity due to a lack of investment and planning, rurality, lack of knowledge, and communication difficulties, are major challenges that CR coordinators need to overcome to provide effective services. Conclusions: The experiences of participants provide some detailed insight into the barriers encountered in providing CR services. The main message from this study is that providing CR services is a complex process and is collectively influenced by the health care system; professional and provider issues; and program characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Challenges
  • Chronic disease
  • Qualitative study
  • Secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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