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  1. Aspry, Karen MD, MS
  2. Dunsiger, Shira PhD
  3. Breault, Christopher BS
  4. Stabile, Loren MS
  5. DeAngelis, Julianne MS
  6. Wu, Wen-Chih MD, MPH


Purpose: The impact of cognitive-behavioral strategies and clinical factors on diet change during cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is not well studied. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of collaborative goal-setting and clinical predictors on diet scores and weight loss in a case management model of CR.


Methods: We retrospectively examined the effects of clinical factors and goal-setting facilitated by case managers on diet scores and weight loss in 629 consecutive patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease enrolled in our CR program between 2014 and 2016. The Rate Your Plate (RYP) diet score was used to measure diet quality at baseline and discharge. Logistic regression modeling was used to identify predictors of diet score change in a subsample with goal-setting data (n = 615). Analysis of variance was conducted in the subset with complete weight data (n = 584) to compare weight loss between those who improved their RYP scores versus those who did not.


Results: Participants were 27.9% female, with a mean age of 63.4 +/- 11.5 y. The average body mass index at baseline was 30.3 +/- 6.8, and 51.7% reported diet change and/or weight loss as a goal. After an average of 33 CR sessions, 27.3% improved their RYP scores by at least 1 risk category (mean score, 54.0 +/- 9.0 vs 58.2 +/- 7.3, P < .001) and the average weight loss was 1.5 +/- 2.9 kg (P < .001). After logistic regression modeling, dietary goal-setting was significantly associated with improvement in diet scores and with greater weight loss (2.2 +/- 3.1 kg vs 0.84 +/- 2.6 kg, P < .001).


Conclusions: A case management model that incorporates dietary goal-setting is associated with improved measures of diet quality and weight loss during CR.