People of South-Asian origin have an increased prevalence of coronary artery disease. Although cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is effective, South Asians are among the least likely people to participate in these programs. Automatic referral increases CR use and may reduce access inequalities. This study qualitatively explored whether CR referral knowledge and access varied among South-Asian patients. Participants were South-Asian cardiac patients receiving treatment at hospitals in Ontario, Canada. Each hospital refers to CR via one offour methods: automatically through paper or electronically, through discussion with allied health professionals (liaison referral), or through referral at the physician's discretion. Data were collected via interviews and analyzed using interpretive-descriptive analysis. Four themes emerged: the importance of predischarge CR discussions with healthcare providers, limited knowledge of CR, ease of the referral process for facilitators of CR attendance, and participants'needs for personal autonomy regarding their decision to attend CR. Liaison referral was perceived to be the most suitable referral method for participants. It facilitated communication between patients and providers, ensuring improved understanding of CR. Automatic referral may not be as well suited to this population because of reduced patient-provider communication.
Our purpose was to examine the feasibility of implementing an ambulatory surveillance system for monitoring patients referred to cardiac rehabilitation following cardiac hospitalizations.
This study consists of 1208 consecutive referrals to cardiac rehabilitation between October 2007 and April 2008. Patient attendance at cardiac rehabilitation, waiting times for cardiac rehabilitation, and adverse events while waiting for cardiac rehabilitation were tracked by telephone surveillance by a nurse.
Among the 1208 consecutive patients referred, only 44.7% attended cardiac rehabilitation; 36.4% of referred patients were known not to have attended any cardiac rehabilitation, while an additional 18.9% of referred patients were lost to follow-up. Among the 456 referred patients who attended the cardiac rehabilitation program, 19 (4.2%) experienced an adverse event while in the queue (13 of which were for cardiovascular hospitalizations with no deaths), with mean waiting times of 20 days and 24 days among those without and with adverse events, respectively. Among the 440 referred patients who were known not to have attended any cardiac rehabilitation program, 114 (25.9%) had adverse clinical events while in the queue; 46 of these events required cardiac hospitalization and 8 patients died.
Ambulatory surveillance for cardiac rehabilitation referrals is feasible. The high adverse event rates in the queue, particularly among patients who are referred but who do not attend cardiac rehabilitation programs, underscores the importance of ambulatory referral surveillance systems for cardiac rehabilitation following cardiac hospitalizations.
To examine the impact of two culturally competent diabetes education methods, individual counselling and individual counselling in conjunction with group education, on nutrition adherence and glycemic control in Portuguese Canadian adults with type 2 diabetes over a three-month period.
The Diabetes Education Centre is located in the urban multicultural city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We used a three-month randomized controlled trial design. Eligible Portuguese-speaking adults with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to receive either diabetes education counselling only (control group) or counselling in conjunction with group education (intervention group). Of the 61 patients who completed the study, 36 were in the counselling only and 25 in the counselling with group education intervention. We used a per-protocol analysis to examine the efficacy of the two educational approaches on nutrition adherence and glycemic control; paired t-tests to compare results within groups and analysis of covariance (ACOVA) to compare outcomes between groups adjusting for baseline measures. The Theory of Planned Behaviour was used to describe the behavioural mechanisms that influenced nutrition adherence.
Attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behaviour control, and intentions towards nutrition adherence, self-reported nutrition adherence and glycemic control significantly improved in both groups, over the three-month study period. Yet, those receiving individual counselling with group education showed greater improvement in all measures with the exception of glycemic control, where no significant difference was found between the two groups at three months.
Our study findings provide preliminary evidence that culturally competent group education in conjunction with individual counselling may be more efficacious in shaping eating behaviours than individual counselling alone for Canadian Portuguese adults with type 2 diabetes. However, larger longitudinal studies are needed to determine the most efficacious education method to sustain long-term nutrition adherence and glycemic control.
Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) remains underused and inconsistently accessed, particularly for women and minorities. This study examined the factors associated with CR enrollment within the context of an automatic referral system through a retrospective chart review plus survey. Through the Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization, it was postulated that enabling and perceived need factors, but not predisposing factors, would significantly predict patient enrollment.
A random sample of all atherosclerotic heart disease (AHD) patients treated at a tertiary care center (Trillium Health Centre, Ontario, Canada) from April 2001 to May 2002 (n = 501) were mailed a survey using a modified Dillman method (71% response rate).
Predisposing measures consisted of sociodemographics such as age, sex, ethnocultural background, work status, level of education, and income. Enabling factors consisted of barriers and facilitators to CR attendance, exercise benefits and barriers (EBBS), and social support (MOS). Perceived need factors consisted of illness perceptions (IPQ) and body mass index.
Of the 272 participants, 199 (73.2%) attended a CR assessment. Lower denial/minimization, fewer logistical barriers to CR (eg, distance, cost), and lower perceptions of AHD as cyclical or episodic reliably predicted CR enrollment among cardiac patients who were automatically referred.
Because none of the predisposing factors were significant in the final model, this suggests that factors associated with CR enrollment within the context of an automatic referral model relate to enabling factors and perceived need. A prospective controlled evaluation of automatic referral is warranted.
Despite greater need, rural inhabitants and individuals of low socioeconomic status (SES) are less likely to undertake cardiac rehabilitation (CR). This study examined barriers to enrollment and participation in CR among these under-represented groups.
Cardiac inpatients from 11 hospitals across Ontario were approached to participate in a larger study. Rurality was assessed by asking participants whether they lived within a 30-minute drive-time from the nearest hospital, with those >30 minutes considered "rural." Participants completed a sociodemographic survey, which included the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status. One year later, they were mailed a survey which assessed CR utilization and included the Cardiac Rehabilitation Barriers Scale. In this cross-sectional study, CR utilization and barriers were compared by rurality and SES.
Of the 1809 (80.4%) retained, there were 215 (11.9%) rural participants, and the mean subjective SES was 6.37 ± 1.76. The mean CRBS score was 2.03 ± 0.73. Rural inhabitants reported attending significantly fewer CR sessions (p
School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada; Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in Canada. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) has a long robust history here, and there are established clinical practice guidelines. While the effectiveness of CR in the Canadian context is clear, only 34% of eligible patients participate, and strategies to increase access for under-represented groups (e.g., women, ethnic minority groups) are not yet universally applied. Identified CR barriers include lack of referral and physician recommendation, travel and distance, and low perceived need. Indeed there is now a national policy position recommending systematic inpatient referral to CR in Canada. Recent development of 30 CR quality indicators and the burgeoning national CR registry will enable further measurement and improvement of the quality of CR care in Canada. Finally, the Canadian Association of CR is one of the founding members of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, to promote CR globally.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs develop in accordance with guidelines, but also in response to local needs and resources. This study evaluated features of Ontario cardiac rehabilitation programs in accordance with guidelines, emerging evidence and treating underserved populations.
In this cross-sectional study, all Ontario cardiac rehabilitation programs were mailed an investigator-generated survey. Responses were received from 38 of 45 (84.4%) programs.
Twenty-seven (71.1%) cardiac rehabilitation programs were located within a hospital. Twenty-four (63.2%) programs reported that they offer two sessions of exercise and education per week. Twenty-six (68.4%) programs offered an alternative model of program delivery other than on-site, with 10 (27.0%) programs reporting they tailored their programs to rural patients. Twenty-three (62.2%) programs provided services to patients with a noncardiac primary indication. Twenty-six (68.4%) programs systematically screened patients for depressive symptoms. Twenty-seven (71.1%) offered resources to patients postgraduation.
Most cardiac rehabilitation programs offered alternative models of care, such as home-based rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation sites are well integrated within their community, enabling smooth postcardiac rehabilitation transitions for patients. Cardiac rehabilitation programs continue to offer proven comprehensive components, while simultaneously attempting to adapt to meet the needs of patients with other chronic diseases.
Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a proven effective means for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Timely access to CR services is key to promoting patient participation and ensuring optimal patient outcomes. Despite wait time benchmarks having been established, research regarding how long patients wait to enter CR following referral receipt is limited. The aim of this study was to (a) describe wait times from CR referral to intake assessment and (b) examine the association of wait time to CR enrollment rates.
Wait time from date of CR referral to date of intake assessment was calculated in days for 599 participants referred to CR from 2006 to 2009 inclusive. A descriptive examination of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics was performed, followed by logistic regression analysis to assess the wait time by enrollment relationship.
Median wait time from referral receipt to CR intake was 42.0 days. Wait time had a negative effect on CR enrollment, such that for every 1-day increment in wait time, patients were 1% less likely to enroll.
The time that patients wait to enroll in CR may affect the number of patients who choose to attend, and longer wait times may mean fewer patients will benefit from CR participation. Programs should be encouraged to undertake quality improvement initiatives to ensure wait times are not negatively impacting patient enrollment and ultimately preventing patients from benefiting from CR participation. Further research is needed to establish evidence-based wait time benchmarks and interventions to promote timely access to CR services.
To assess the completeness of cardiac risk factor documentation by cardiologists, and agreement with patient report.
A total of 68 Ontario cardiologists and 789 of their ambulatory cardiology patients were randomly selected. Cardiac risk factor data were systematically extracted from medical charts, and a survey was mailed to participants to assess risk factor concordance.
With regard to completeness of risk factor documentation, 90.4% of charts contained a report of hypertension, 87.2% of diabetes, 80.5% of dyslipidemia, 78.6% of smoking behavior, 73.0% of other comorbidities, 48.7% of family history of heart disease, and 45.9% of body mass index or obesity. Using Cohen's k, there was a concordance of 87.7% between physician charts and patient self-report of diabetes, 69.5% for obesity, 56.8% for smoking status, 49% for hypertension, and 48.4% for family history.
Two of four major cardiac risk factors (hypertension and diabetes) were recorded in 90% of patient records; however, arguably the most important reversible risk factors for cardiac disease (dyslipidemia and smoking) were only reported 80% of the time. The results suggest that physician chart report may not be the criterion standard for quality assessment in cardiac risk factor reporting.
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South Asians (SA) are predisposed to developing premature coronary heart disease (CHD), partly due to the early onset of classic risk factors, including physical inactivity. The nature of physical activity (PA) environments in South Asians in Canada remains unknown. Our objective was to examine differences in PA environments for South Asian vs White Caucasian (WC) CHD patients. In a cross-sectional study, 2657 hospitalized CHD patients in Ontario completed The Perceived Environments Related to Physical Activity Questionnaire to assess their home and neighborhood environment, perceived neighborhood safety and availability of recreational facilities. Patients self-reporting their ethnocultural background as WC (N = 1301, 48.6%) or SA (N = 171, 6.4%) were included in this study. South Asians were significantly younger, had lower body mass index, higher levels of education, lower income, were less likely to smoke and reside rurally, and were more likely to be married, have diabetes mellitus and have experienced prior myocardial infarction (MI) than WC patients. South Asians also had lower availability of home exercise equipment and perceived convenience of local PA facilities, but better and safer neighborhood environments than WC patients. Multivariate analyses revealed that SA ethnocultural background remained significantly related to reduced availability of home exercise equipment and fewer convenient local PA facilities. Since physical inactivity is an important CHD risk factor, and SA ethnocultural background is associated with high CHD risk, this may represent a novel target for risk reduction. Thus, further research is required to optimize SA awareness of the need for PA, and access to equipment and facilities.