healthcare delivery, heart diseases, Internet, rehabilitation



  1. Higgins, Rosemary O. DPsych, MAPS, MCHP
  2. Rogerson, Michelle PhD
  3. Murphy, Barbara M. PhD
  4. Navaratnam, Hema MPsych
  5. Butler, Michael V. BAppSc(physio)
  6. Barker, Lauren BPhysio
  7. Turner, Alyna PhD
  8. Lefkovits, Jeffrey MBBS, FRACP, FCSANZ
  9. Jackson, Alun C. PhD


Background: While cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is recommended for all patients after an acute cardiac event, limitations exist in reach.


Objective: The purpose of the current study was to develop and pilot a flexible online CR program based on self-management principles "Help Yourself Online."


Methods: The program was designed as an alternative to group-based CR as well as to complement traditional CR. The program was based on existing self-management resources developed previously by the Heart Research Centre. Twenty-one patients admitted to Cabrini Health for an acute cardiac event were recruited to test the program. The program was evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods.


Results: Quantitative results demonstrated that patients believed the program would assist them in their self-management. Qualitative evaluation, using focus group and interview methods with 15 patients, showed that patients perceived the online CR approach to be a useful instrument for self-management.


Conclusions: Broader implications of the data include the acceptability of the intervention, timing of intervention delivery, and patients' desire for additional online community support.