Cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart disease: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews

Anderson, L. and Taylor, R. S. (2014) Cardiac rehabilitation for people with heart disease: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014(12), CD011273. (doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011273.pub2) (PMID:25503364)

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Background: Overviews are a new approach to summarising evidence and synthesising results from related systematic reviews. Objectives: To conduct an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews to provide a contemporary review of the evidence for delivery of cardiac rehabilitation, to identify opportunities for merging or splitting existing Cochrane reviews, and to identify current evidence gaps to inform new cardiac rehabilitation systematic review titles. Methods: We searched The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2014, Issue 10) to identify systematic reviews that addressed the objectives of this overview. We assessed the quality of included reviews using the Revised Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (R‐AMSTAR) measurement tool and the quality of the evidence for reported outcomes using the GRADE framework. The focus of the data presentation was descriptive with detailed tabular presentations of review level and trial level characteristics and results. Main results: We found six Cochrane systematic reviews and judged them to be of high methodological quality. They included 148 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in 98,093 participants. Compared with usual care alone, the addition of exercise‐based cardiac rehabilitation in low‐risk people after myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention or with heart failure appeared to have no impact on mortality, but did reduce hospital admissions and improved health‐related quality of life. Psychological‐ and education‐based interventions alone appeared to have little or no impact on mortality or morbidity but may have improved health‐related quality of life. Home‐ and centre‐based programmes were equally effective in improving quality of life outcomes at similar healthcare costs. Selected interventions can increase the uptake of cardiac rehabilitation programmes whilst there is currently only weak evidence to support interventions that improve adherence to cardiac rehabilitation programmes. The quality of the primary RCTs in the included systematic reviews was variable, and limitations in the methodological quality of the RCTs led to downgrading of the quality of the evidence, which varied widely by review and by outcome. Authors' conclusions: Exercise‐based cardiac rehabilitation is an effective and safe therapy to be used in the management of clinically stable people following myocardial infarction or percutaneous coronary intervention or who have heart failure. Future RCTs of cardiac rehabilitation need to improve their reporting methods and reflect the real world practice better including the recruitment of higher risk people and consideration of contemporary models of cardiac rehabilitation delivery, and identify effective interventions for enhancing adherence to rehabilitation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Taylor, Professor Rod
Authors: Anderson, L., and Taylor, R. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
ISSN (Online):1469-493X

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