Enhancing participation in cardiac rehabilitation: Focus on underserved populations

Philip A. Ades, Sherrie Khadanga, Patrick D. Savage, Diann E. Gaalema

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) significantly decreases morbidity and mortality and improves quality of life following a wide variety of cardiac diagnoses and interventions. However, participation rates and adherence with CR are still suboptimal and certain populations, such as women, minorities, and those of lower socio-economic status, are particularly unlikely to engage in and complete CR. In this paper we review the current status of CR participation rates and interventions that have been used successfully to improve CR participation. In addition, we review populations known to be less likely to engage in CR, and interventions that have been used to improve participation specifically in these underrepresented populations. Finally, we will explore how CR programs may need to expand or change to serve a greater proportion of CR-eligible populations. The best studied interventions that have successfully increased CR participation include automated referral to CR and utilization of a CR liaison person to coordinate the sometimes awkward transition from inpatient status to outpatient CR participation. Furthermore, it appears likely that maximizing secondary prevention in these at-risk populations will require a combination of increasing attendance at traditional center-based CR programs among underrepresented populations, improving and expanding upon tele- or community-based programs, and alternative strategies for improving secondary prevention in those who do not participate in CR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-110
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Cardiovascular Diseases
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Minorities
  • Socioeconomic status, secondary prevention
  • Underserved populations
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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