Although cardiac rehabilitation improves physical fitness after a cardiac event, many eligible patients do not participate in cardiac rehabilitation and the beneficial effects of cardiac rehabilitation are often not maintained over time. Home-based training with telemonitoring guidance could improve participation rates and enhance long-term effectiveness.Methods and results
We randomised 90 low-to-moderate cardiac risk patients entering cardiac rehabilitation to three months of either home-based training with telemonitoring guidance or centre-based training. Although training adherence was similar between groups, satisfaction was higher in the home-based group (p = 0.02). Physical fitness improved at discharge (p < 0.01) and at one-year follow-up (p < 0.01) in both groups, without differences between groups (home-based p = 0.31 and centre-based p = 0.87). Physical activity levels did not change during the one-year study period (centre-based p = 0.38, home-based p = 0.80). Healthcare costs were statistically non-significantly lower in the home-based group (€437 per patient, 95% confidence interval –562 to 1436, p = 0.39). From a societal perspective, a statistically non-significant difference of €3160 per patient in favour of the home-based group was found (95% confidence interval –460 to 6780, p = 0.09) and the probability that it was more cost-effective varied between 97% and 75% (willingness-to-pay of €0 and €100,000 per quality-adjusted life-years, respectively).Conclusion
We found no differences between home-based training with telemonitoring guidance and centre-based training on physical fitness, physical activity level or health-related quality of life. However, home-based training was associated with a higher patient satisfaction and appears to be more cost-effective than centre-based training. We conclude that home-based training with telemonitoring guidance can be used as an alternative to centre-based training for low-to-moderate cardiac risk patients entering cardiac rehabilitation.