Cardiac rehabilitation past, present and future: an overview
Cardiac Rehabilitation has evolved over the past decades from a simple monitoring for the safe return to physical activities to a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on patient education, individually tailored exercise training, modification of the risk factors and the overall well-being of the cardiac patients. It has been proven to be an effective tool for the care of the patients with heart disease. Recent research in cardiac rehabilitation has demonstrated that tremendous benefits can be derived from the optimal use of cardiac rehabilitation in patients with various cardiac pathologies including ischemic heart disease, heart failure and post heart surgery. The benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include mortality reduction, symptom relief, reduction in smoking and improved exercise tolerance, risk factors modification and the overall psychosocial wellbeing. Unfortunately, cardiac rehabilitation remains considerably underutilized mainly because of referral problems and poor enrollment. The development of alternate approaches and the use of transtelephonic and other means of monitoring and surveillance will help expand the utilization of cardiac rehabilitation.