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  1. Gabelhouse, Jacqueline MSc
  2. Eves, Neil PhD
  3. Grace, Sherry L. PhD
  4. Reid, R. Colin PhD
  5. Caperchione, Cristina M. PhD


Purpose: Due to the suboptimal uptake of cardiac rehabilitation (CR), alternative models have been proposed. This study compared the effectiveness of a traditional supervised program in a medical setting versus a hybrid CR model, where patients transition to unsupervised programming.


Methods: This was a prospective, 2-arm, nonrandomized study. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL), functional capacity, physical activity, diet, smoking, blood pressure, lipids, blood glucose, anthropometrics, and depressive symptoms were assessed before and after the 8-week program models. Program adherence and completion were also recorded. Both models offered outpatient supervised exercise sessions, group health education classes, and a resource manual. The hybrid model involved a blend of supervised and unsupervised, independent home-based exercise, and followup phone calls.


Results: One hundred twenty-five cardiac patients consented to the study, of whom 72 (57.6%) and 53 chose the traditional and hybrid programs, respectively. One hundred ten (traditional: n = 62, 86.1%; hybrid: n = 48, 92.3%; P > .05) participants completed their program. Significant improvements were observed for both models over time in HRQoL (P < .001), physical activity (P < .001), and diet (P < .001). Significant reductions in smoking (P = .043), systolic blood pressure (P < .001), total cholesterol (P < .001), low-density lipoprotein (P < .001), waist circumference (P < .001), and depressive symptoms (P < .001) were also observed. There were no significant differences pre- and postprograms between models for any outcome.


Conclusions: Hybrid CR was not significantly different from the traditional model in terms of HRQoL, functional capacity, heart health behaviors, and risk factors, with no differences in completion rates.