Barriers to completion of a novel pediatric cardiac rehabilitation program

Robert O. McRae, Alissa Lyman, Sarah Staropoli, Jennifer H. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Pediatric cardiac rehabilitation addresses physical and emotional challenges related to underlying heart disease. While the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation have largely been established, the challenges that patients and their families experience when participating in these programs have yet to be examined in detail. In this study, we evaluated the barriers that families face when asked to complete a structured cardiac rehabilitation program. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to measure the success of a novel pediatric cardiac rehabilitation program and to evaluate the barriers that families face when asked to complete a structured cardiac rehabilitation program. Methods: Parents of patients referred for cardiac rehabilitation and who attended at least one session were recruited to participate in a phone survey regarding their experience using a published psychometric validation of the cardiac rehabilitation barriers scale. Results: 9 families participated in the study. 67% of patients were male and 3 patients completed the program in its entirety. Challenges associated with time, travel, and insufficient insurance coverage, were the highest rated barriers to completion of the rehabilitation program. Families universally enjoyed the program. 5 of 9 felt that the biggest positive of the experience was gaining an understanding of what exercise is safe. 3 of 9 stated that cardiac rehabilitation should be a standard component of therapy for all pediatric cardiology patients. Conclusions: Pediatric cardiac rehabilitation is effective and liked by families. The barriers to completing a structured in-person program are difficulty getting to appointments due to time and travel and level of insurance coverage for the program. As such, ensuring insurance coverage and perhaps virtual rehab programs would be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101404
JournalProgress in Pediatric cardiology
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Barriers
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Deconditioning
  • Pediatric cardiology
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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