Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a professionally supervised programme that aims to help improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems.

It involves a series of exercise and health education sessions that help you get back to everyday life as efficiently and successfully as possible after a heart attack or heart surgery.

“The sum of activities required to favourably influence the underlying cause of the disease, as well as the best possible physical, mental and social conditions, so that they may, by their own efforts, preserve or resume, when lost, as normal a place as possible in the community.” (World Health Organisation, 1993)

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme at North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) is run by a team of Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Specialists and Exercise Specialists, with administrative support, and includes:

  • The opportunity to take part in a supervised programme of exercise to help you recover and improve your fitness.
  • A series of health education talks aimed at helping you understand your condition, and make changes to your lifestyle that will help improve your health and reduce the risk of further heart problems.
  • The chance to meet others who have been through a similar experience.
  • Advice and practical support to help you deal with the psychological and social effects of your cardiac event.
  • Practical advice about helping you return to work.
  • The chance to ask questions about your heart condition and discuss any worries you have.

Why is Cardiac Rehabilitation important?

There is a growing body of good quality evidence within the international community to support the delivery of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation services to patients. The findings of a meta-analysis of 37 trials (Dusseldorp et al 1999) suggest that a comprehensive programme of cardiac rehabilitation (including exercise, educational and/or psychological interventions) result in a 34% reduction in cardiac mortality and a 29% reduction in reoccurrence of myocardial infarction (heart attack).

Who can access the service?

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Service has been developed to support patients who have had a diagnosis of myocardial infarction (heart attack) or have undergone coronary artery bypass surgery, and live within the catchment area of the hospital.