Offering, participation and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation programmes in the elderly: a European comparison based on the EU-CaRE multicentre observational study

Violeta Gonzalez-Salvado*, Carlos Pena-Gil, Oscar Lado-Baleato, Carmen Cadarso-Suarez, Guillermo Prada-Ramallal, Eva Prescott, Matthias Wilhelm, Prisca Eser, Marie-Christine Iliou, Uwe Zeymer, Diego Ardissino, Wendy Bruins, Astrid E. van der Velde, Arnoud W. J. Van't Hof, Ed P. de Kluiver, Evelien K. Kolkman, Leonie Prins, Jose Ramon Gonzalez Juanatey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is strongly recommended but participation of elderly patients has not been well characterized. This study aims to analyse current rates and determinants of CR referral, participation, adherence, and compliance in a contemporary European cohort of elderly patients. Methods and results: The EU-CaRE observational study included data from consecutive patients aged ≥ 65 with acute coronary syndrome, revascularization, stable coronary artery disease, or heart valve replacement, recruited in eight European centres. Rates and factors determining offering, participation, and adherence to CR programmes and compliance with training sessions were studied across centres, under consideration of extensive-outpatient vs. intensive-inpatient programmes. Three thousand, four hundred, and seventy-one patients were included in the offering and participation analysis. Cardiac rehabilitation was offered to 80.8% of eligible patients, formal contraindications being the main reason for not offering CR. Mean participation was 68.0%, with perceived lack of usefulness and transport issues being principal barriers. Mean adherence to CR programmes of participants in the EU-CaRE study (n = 1663) was 90.3%, with hospitalization/physical impairment as principal causes of dropout. Mean compliance with training sessions was 86.1%. Older age was related to lower offering and participation, and comorbidity was associated with lower offering, participation, adherence, and compliance. Intensive-inpatient programmes displayed higher adherence (97.1% vs. 85.9%, P < 0.001) and compliance (full compliance: 66.0% vs. 38.8%, P < 0.001) than extensive-outpatient programmes. Conclusion: In this European cohort of elderly patients, older age and comorbidity tackled patients' referral and uptake of CR programmes. Intensive-inpatient CR programmes showed higher completion than extensive-outpatient CR programmes, suggesting this formula could suit some elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-568
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Ageing
  • Secondary prevention
  • Referral
  • Compliance
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiac rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Offering, participation and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation programmes in the elderly: a European comparison based on the EU-CaRE multicentre observational study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this