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Attendance and completion of cardiac rehabilitation following heart transplantation: a survey service evaluation from the referring transplant centre

Tom Walker


Tom WalkerTransplant Team, Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, CB2 0AY, U.K,,

  • Abstract
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The transplant physiotherapy team at the Royal Papworth Hospital refer all patients who have undergone heart transplant to their local cardiac rehabilitation service on discharge from hospital. Due to the nature of being a tertiary centre, little to no feedback is received on patient attendance and completion.


The aims of this work were to find out whether our patients are attending and completing their cardiac rehabilitation programmes and if not, then investigate the reasons for non-attendance/completion.


The cardiac rehabilitation centres responsible for the care of the 25 heart transplant patients operated on in the six-month period; January 2019–July 2019 were contacted; This totalled 21 individual centres.

Each centre was asked:

• Did the patient attend?

• Did the patient complete the course?

• Why did the patient not attend?

• Why did the patient not complete the course?


Out of the 21 centres contacted 18 responded; caring for 22/25 of our patients; and results showed that at six months post discharge from hospital only 32% of our patients operated on between January 2019–July 2019 had attended and completed cardiac rehabilitation. No data was collected for the remaining three patients due to lack of response from the three centres responsible for their care following email and telephone attempts.

Discussion and conclusion

Better long-term outcomes post heart transplant are achieved through maintaining a consistent exercise routine as well as keeping a moderate level of fitness. An attendance rate for CR of 32% will never be an acceptable rate however, further service improvement could be done to improve the engagement of potential CR users and ensure better attendance rates in the future.


2022 Journal (Vol. 54 Issue 3)
Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care. Volume 54. Issue 3. 2022. Article on: p73-79
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