Objectives: The beneficial effects of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (ECR) are well documented. A substantial proportion of patients fail to complete ECR. The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with patients not completing ECR.
Design: Registry based and data from medical records. The study population was surgically treated heart patients with ischaemic and/or heart valve diseases referred to ECR between August 2008 and January 2011 at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. The ECR was an 8-week course with 1-h biweekly sessions. Patients were non-completers when attending ≤ 75% of sessions. Data were analysed in a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: Of 364 patients, 73% were referred to ECR, 42% did not complete the ECR and 28% never showed up. Readmission within 8 weeks post-discharged odds ratio (OR) of 2.50 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40-4.46), prescribed antidepressant medication OR of 2.40 (95% CI, 1.21-4.74), overweight OR of 1.81 (95% CI, 1.03-3.18), or being single OR of 1.12 (95% CI, 1.07-1.70) was significantly associated with not completing ECR.
Conclusion: We identified a high rate of patients not completing ECR. Readmissions, antidepressant medication, marital status and obesity should warrant clinical attention when designing future interventions to improve adherence to ECR.