Several pieces of literature have often documented the benefits of participating in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) such as promoting recovery and reducing mortality. However, about a third of patients recovering from myocardial infarction maintain the rehabilitation practices. In the past few years, the practical management of heart complications has become a challenge. The paper will present the factors that hinder patients from adhering to different rehabilitation programs.
According to a World Health Organization report (2016), heart diseases are the major causes of death in the developed countries. Those who survive severe heart conditions are often advised by cardiologists to participate in CR as this will enhance recovery, enable them to achieve better health, and reduce their risks of succumbing to death. The CR services are usually comprehensive and include medical assessments, recommended exercises, cardiac risk factor modification, and counseling.
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Some of the barriers towards maintaining adherence include psychological factors such as low self-efficacy and low self-esteem and negative perception towards CR processes, which negatively affect the personality and behavior of the patient. Secondly, there are the patient-related factors such as old age, low levels of education, and gender. Studies have revealed that older adults with severe cardiac problems are highly unlikely to maintain exercise rehabilitation (Darly, et al., 2002). On the other hand, women tend to be diagnosed later as compared to men, which make their condition severe. Thirdly, social and economic factors such as lack or reimbursement and transport issue may hinder patients from participating in these programs. The fourth barrier is the condition-related factors and co-morbidities. Lastly, the types of health care systems often lack proper rehabilitation programs or facilities thereby limiting patients from accessing them.
Some of the recommendations to deal with these challenges include engaging patients in cognitive behavioral strategies, educating the patients regarding their conditions, offering social support and establishing more CR program centers in the country to increase accessibility.
Daly, J., Sindone, A. P., Thompson, D. R., Hancock, K., Chang, E., & Davidson, P. (2002). Barriers to participation in and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation programs: a critical literature review. Progress in cardiovascular nursing , 17 (1), 8-17.
World Health Organization. (2016). Cardiovascular diseases. WHO . Retrieved on 14 th April 2017 from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs317/en/