What we do

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a class 1A recommendation with exercise therapy consistantly identified as a central element (AHA, ESC).

Cardiac Rehabilitation aims to improve physical and emotional health and quality of life for patients following a cardiac event. The Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation identify the following core components:

  • • Health behaviour change and education.
  • • Lifestyle risk factor management (physical activity and exercise, diet, smoking cessation).
  • • Psychosocial health.
  • • Medical risk factor management.
  • • Cardio protective therapies and medication adherance.
  • • Long-term management.
  • • Audit and evaluation.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is predominately offered to individuals following acute Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and Heart Valve Surgery. Cardiac Rehabilitation can be divided into four distinct phases.

Phase 1:

This phase relates to the period of hospitalisation following an acute cardiac event. The duration of this phase may vary depending on the initial diagnosis, the severity of the event and individual institutions. During this phase, individuals typically undergo a risk assessment and risk stratification as well as receiving information regarding their diagnosis, risk factors, medications, work/social issues and driving guidelines. Involvement of the partner and family is facilitated and encouraged. This phase also includes early mobilisation and adequate discharge planning.

Phase 2:

This phase encompasses the immediate post discharge period, which is typically a period of two to six weeks. It focuses on health education and resumption of physical activity. The structure of this phase may vary dramatically from centre to centre. It may take the format of telephone follow up, home visits or individual or group education sessions. Either way, some form of contact is maintained with the patient, facilitating ongoing education and exchange of information and emotional support.

Phase 3:

This phase incorporates exercise training in combination with ongoing education and psychosocial and vocational interventions. Titration of medication to optium doses and risk factor modification occur. The duration of phase 3 may vary from six to twelve weeks, with patients required to attend a CR unit two to three times weekly for structured exercise and other lifestyle interventions.

Phase 4:

This phase constitutes the components of long-term maintenance of lifestyle changes, once the patient has completed the structured Phase 3 programme. This may be facilitated in a local leisure centre or community hall and the focus is on indefinite exercise and other lifestyle modifications. Alternatively individuals may prefer to exercise independently and Phase 4 may involve helping them set a safe and realistic maintenance programme.