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Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral and Attendance: Not One and the Same


EPICORE Centre Division of Cardiology, 2C2 W.C. Mackenzie Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2B7, Canada.


Despite empirical evidence that cardiac rehabilitation programs can play a significant role in enhancing recovery following a primary cardiac event and in enacting secondary prevention measures, attendance rates remain remarkably low. Referral and attendance at cardiac rehabilitation programs are not one and the same. Recognizing this, issues related to the referral of eligible patients to cardiac rehabilitation and factors that affect patients' decisions regarding attendance must be identified and addressed. This article presents an overview of the potential benefits of cardiac rehabilitation programs, describes salient issues related to referral and attendance, and identifies directions for future research.