• home-based cardiac rehabilitation;
  • noninferiority design risk factors

Because fewer than half of cardiac patients in the United States enroll in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs, there is a critical need to test alternative strategies of delivering CR services. This study tested whether a home-based CR (home-CR) program was at least as effective as traditional-CR (trad-CR) in the modification of coronary heart disease risk factors from the beginning of CR (baseline) to 2 and 4 months later. A repeated measures non-inferiority quasi-experimental design was used to examine changes in risk factors. Participants selected which CR program, traditional versus home-based, in which to participate: 37 patients chose trad-CR and 24 patients chose home-CR. The following indicators of risk factors were measured: smoking, blood pressure, frequency of aerobic exercise, cholesterol, amount of dietary fat, frequency of anger, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. Home-CR was found to be as effective as trad-CR in modification of cardiac risk factors including BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, frequency of aerobic exercise, total cholesterol, and a low fat diet. Home-CR was not as effective as trad-CR in reducing the frequency of anger. These findings provide support for an alternative method of delivering cardiac rehabilitation services.