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Physiotherapists welcome NICE advice on treatment for heart patients

CSP press release published on 26 August 2010

New guidelines that recognise the importance of cardiac rehabilitation programmes for patients with heart failure have been welcomed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

NICE said these courses of treatment have been shown to help reduce hospital re-admissions and help patients resume active lives.

Natalie Beswetherick, Director of Practice and Development of the CSP, said:

"We welcome the recognition by NICE of the significant role exercise-based rehabilitation programmes can play in improving the quality of life for patients with heart failure.

"Physiotherapists have a well-established record of working with patients who have suffered a heart attack.

"But while an increasing amount of work is being done with patients with heart failure, we recognise access to these exercise programmes has been far from universal so these new guidelines are to be warmly welcomed."

The guidelines said the programmes should be used taking into consideration the following recommendations:

  • Ensure the patient is stable and does not have a condition or device that would preclude an exercise-based rehabilitation programme.
  • Include a psychological and educational component in the programme.
  • The programme may be incorporated within an existing cardiac rehabilitation programme.

Heart failure is diagnosed when symptoms, such as breathlessness, suggest the organ's efficiency has been impaired.

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