Capacity and equity in cardiac rehabilitation in the eastern region: good and bad news

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Abstract

Aim

To document current baseline eligibility for Phase 3 cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and the capacity to meet this need in hospitals in the Eastern Regional Health Authority.

Methods

Information on the eligible population and the capacity for CR was collected in all nine hospitals retrospectively (February-March 2001).

Results

Forty-seven per cent of eligible patients were invited to participate with only two-thirds attending. Completion rates were very high (89%) in attenders. Age and health board area were significant independent predictors of being invited to CR. Gender was not independent of age. Fifty-three per cent of the need for this service was met by capacity in the region's nine hospitals in 2000 rising to 59% in 2002.

Conclusions

Many eligible patients are not invited to CR. Lack of capacity is a problem. Among the invited, non-participation is a factor. Inequity in age and inter-hospital variation in invitation is noted.

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