Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
A cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending upon the specific heart problem or disease. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.
The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to help the patient return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life - physically, emotionally, and socially. These goals are often met by:
- decreasing cardiac symptoms and complications.
- encouraging independence through self-management.
- reducing hospitalizations.
- stabilizing or reversing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the blood vessels).
- improving social, emotional, and vocational status.
In order to help reach these goals, cardiac rehabilitation programs may include the following:
- medication management to help reduce cardiac symptoms, complications, and hospitalizations
- exercise programs to help build fitness and improve endurance
- methods to improve independence and activities of daily living (ADLs)
- patient and family education and counseling
- smoking cessation
- nutritional counseling
- stress management and emotional support
- vocational counseling
Research done on cardiac rehabilitation programs has found them to benefit patients in the following ways:
- improve cardiac symptoms
- reduce blood cholesterol levels
- reduce cigarette smoking
- improve psychosocial well-being and reduce stress
- reduce death due to heart disease
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