Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a global epidemic, which is largely preventable. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is demonstrated to be efficacious and cost-effective for secondary prevention in high-income countries. Given its affordability, CR should be more broadly implemented in middle-income countries as well. Hence, the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR) convened a writing panel to recommend strategies to deliver all core CR components in low-resource settings, namely: (1) initial assessment, (2) lifestyle risk factor management (i.e., diet, tobacco, mental health), (3) medical risk factor management (lipids, blood pressure), (4) education for self-management; (5) return to work; and (6) outcome evaluation. Approaches to delivering these components in alternative, arguably lower-cost settings, such as the home, community and primary care, are provided. Recommendations on delivering each of these components where the most-responsible CR provider is a non-physician, such as an allied healthcare professional or community health care worker, are also provided.
Keywords: Cardiac rehabilitation; Community health; Delivery models; Middle-income countries; Primary care.
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