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Factors Influencing Referral of Cardiac Patients for Cardiac Rehabilitation


  • Janeth J. Stiller PhD RN,

    Assistant Clinical Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Janeth Jones Stiller is an assistant clinical professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing in Arlington, TX.

  • Melinda M. Holt PhD

    Associate Professor of MathematicsSearch for more papers by this author
    • Melinda Miller Holt is an associate professor of mathematics at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, LA.

218 Bob-O-Link Drive, Southlake, TX 76092 or e-mail


This study asked the question: Are there differences in the characteristics and referral rates of men and women who are referred for cardiac rehabilitation? The sample consisted of 203 men (n = 148) and women (n = 55) who were hospitalized with at least one cardiac diagnosis and were eligible for Phase II cardiac rehabilitation. Hospital records were reviewed to obtain information on gender, age, ethnicity, insurance coverage, marital status, employment status, proximity to rehabilitation services, transportation availability, concurrent disease processes, domestic responsibilities, documentation of referral for cardiac rehabilitation, and the attending physician. A survey sent to the patients approximately 3 weeks after their discharge from the hospital also addressed these variables. Logistic regression analysis indicated only one predictor of referral: the gender of the physician. Male physicians were more likely to refer patients for cardiac rehabilitation. This finding must be viewed with caution because of the small number of female patients and female physicians included in the study. The current literature reflects conflicting findings about the proposed relationships; therefore, they merit further investigation.