Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Alone and Hybrid With Center-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation in Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Aug 20;8(16):e012779. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.012779. Epub 2019 Aug 17.


Background Center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF). Home-based cardiac rehabilitation (HBCR) can be an alternative to increase access for patients who cannot participate in CBCR. Hybrid cardiac rehabilitation (CR) combines short-term CBCR with HBCR, potentially allowing both flexibility and rigor. However, recent data comparing these initiatives have not been synthesized. Methods and Results We performed a meta-analysis to compare functional capacity and health-related quality of life (hr-QOL) outcomes in HF for (1) HBCR and usual care, (2) hybrid CR and usual care, and (3) HBCR and CBCR. A systematic search in 5 standard databases for randomized controlled trials was performed through January 31, 2019. Summary estimates were pooled using fixed- or random-effects (when I2>50%) meta-analyses. Standardized mean differences (95% CI) were used for distinct hr-QOL tools. We identified 31 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1791 HF participants. Among 18 studies that compared HBCR and usual care, participants in HBCR had improvement of peak oxygen uptake (2.39 mL/kg per minute; 95% CI, 0.28-4.49) and hr-QOL (16 studies; standardized mean difference: 0.38; 95% CI, 0.19-0.57). Nine RCTs that compared hybrid CR with usual care showed that hybrid CR had greater improvements in peak oxygen uptake (9.72 mL/kg per minute; 95% CI, 5.12-14.33) but not in hr-QOL (2 studies; standardized mean difference: 0.67; 95% CI, -0.20 to 1.54). Five studies comparing HBCR with CBCR showed similar improvements in functional capacity (0.0 mL/kg per minute; 95% CI, -1.93 to 1.92) and hr-QOL (4 studies; standardized mean difference: 0.11; 95% CI, -0.12 to 0.34). Conclusions HBCR and hybrid CR significantly improved functional capacity, but only HBCR improved hr-QOL over usual care. However, both are potential alternatives for patients who are not suitable for CBCR.

Keywords: cardiac rehabilitation; exercise; heart failure; meta‐analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Self Care
  • Treatment Outcome