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How has technology been used to deliver cardiac rehabilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic? An international cross-sectional survey of healthcare professionals conducted by the BACPR.

O'Doherty, Alasdair F.; Humphreys, Helen; Dawkes, Susan; Cowie, Aynsley; Hinton, Sally; Brubaker, Peter H.; Butler, Tom; Nichols, Simon

Authors

Alasdair F. O'Doherty

Helen Humphreys

Aynsley Cowie

Sally Hinton

Peter H. Brubaker

Tom Butler

Simon Nichols



Abstract

Objective: To investigate whether exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation services continued during the COVID-19 pandemic and how technology has been used to deliver home-based cardiac rehabilitation. Design: A mixed methods survey including questions about exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation service provision, programme diversity, patient complexity, technology use, barriers to using technology, and safety. Setting: International survey of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes. Participants: Healthcare professionals working in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes worldwide. Main outcome measures: The proportion of programmes that continued providing exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and which technologies had been used to deliver home-based cardiac rehabilitation. Results: Three hundred and thirty eligible responses were received; 89.7% were from the UK. Approximately half (49.3%) of respondents reported that cardiac rehabilitation programmes were suspended due to COVID-19. Of programmes that continued, 25.8% used technology before the COVID-19 pandemic. Programmes typically started using technology within 19 days of COVID-19 becoming a pandemic. 48.8% did not provide cardiac rehabilitation to high-risk patients, telephone was most commonly used to deliver cardiac rehabilitation, and some centres used sophisticated technology such as teleconferencing. Conclusions: The rapid adoption of technology into standard practice is promising and may improve access to, and participation in, exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation beyond COVID-19. However, the exclusion of certain patient groups and programme suspension could worsen clinical symptoms and well-being, and increase hospital admissions. Refinement of current practices, with a focus on improving inclusivity and addressing safety concerns around exercise support to high-risk patients, may be needed.

Citation

O'DOHERTY, A.F., HUMPHREYS, H., DAWKES, S., COWIE, A., HINTON, S., BRUBAKER, P.H., BUTLER, T. and NICHOLS, S. 2021. How has technology been used to deliver cardiac rehabilitation during the COVID-19 pandemic? An international cross-sectional survey of healthcare professionals conducted by the BACPR. BMJ open [online], 11(4), article e046051. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046051

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 30, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 20, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date May 13, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2021
Journal BMJ Open
Print ISSN 2044-6055
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 4
Article Number e046051
DOI https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046051
Keywords COVID-19 pandemic; Exercise; Cardiac rehabilitation; Healthcare professionals; International healthcare policy; Local healthcare decision making
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1335311

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