Impact of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Functional Capacity and Physical Activity after Coronary Revascularization: A Scientific Review

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Cardiology Research and Practice


Background. Coronary revascularization procedures often cause lowered exercise capacity and declining physical activity levels. These outcomes are paramount in predicting morbidity and mortality after these procedures. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) focuses on incrementing cardiovascular endurance, exercise capacity, muscle strength, levels of physical activity, and quality of life through health education and lifestyle modification in post-coronary revascularization patients. Objective. To review the impact of cardiac rehabilitation on functional capacity, levels of physical activity, and health related quality of life in patients following coronary revascularization. Methods. A structured literature search in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and ProQuest for studies focused on CR and its effects on functional capacity, physical activity, and quality of life after coronary revascularization. Results. A total of 2,010 studies were retrieved. Deduplication and eligibility screening included 190 studies after the application of filters. A sum of 21 studies were considered for this review. Most studies reported that exercise and physical activity programs were centre-based and home-based and via telerehabilitation. Treadmill and cycle ergometry training with callisthenics and flexibility exercises in phase 2 CR exhibited significant improvement in functional capacity and physical activity levels in patients after coronary revascularization procedures. Conclusion. Although centre-based supervised CR programs do improve functional capacity after coronary revascularization, home-based or telerehabilitation-based CR programs are feasible, improve patient compliance in improving physical activity, and thereby increase functional capacity. Patient education improves levels of physical activity, health related quality of life, and adherence to home- and centre-based CR programs.



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