Give heart failure patients more cardiac rehab options, says NICE

People with heart failure should receive an exercise-based rehab programme to do at home, hospital or a community venue, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


A varied approach to cardiac rehab is a challenging but interesting opportunity for physios

In a quality statement on chronic heart failure, published on 18 February, NICE advocates greater accessibility to cardiac rehab programmes for patients. It calls for sessions to be delivered at different times of the day and at a range venues.

In a joint statement Laura Burgess and Catrin Warren, co-chairs of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cardiac Rehabilitation, said: ‘Chronic heart failure can affect people of all ages and our services need to be flexible and adaptable enough to accommodate this.

‘Many individuals benefit from exercising in a group as it helps their exercise self-efficacy, but this approach doesn’t suit everyone.

‘People with chronic heart failure can have complex needs from co-morbidities such as musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, or from the psychological impact of living with a cardiac condition.

‘So providing a varied approach to providing cardiac rehab is a challenging but very interesting opportunity for physiotherapists working in this area.’

New and updated advice in the document says that adults with chronic heart failure should be offered

  • an exercise‑based programme of cardiac rehabilitation, which includes a psychological and educational component
  • a review within two weeks of any change in the dose or type of their heart failure medication

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