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  1. Babu, Abraham Samuel PhD
  2. Heald, Fiorella A. MD
  3. Contractor, Aashish MBBS, MEd
  4. Ghisi, Gabriela L. M. PhD
  5. Buckley, John PhD
  6. Mola, Ana PhD
  7. Atrey, Alison PhD
  8. Lopez-Jimenez, Francisco MD
  9. Grace, Sherry L. PhD


Purpose: The International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (ICCPR) developed an online Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Foundations Certification (CRFC; in October 2017, to build cardiac rehabilitation (CR) delivery capacity in low-resource settings based on their guidelines. Herein we evaluate its reach globally, barriers to its completion, as well as satisfaction and impact of the course among those completing it.


Methods: The country of origin of all applicants was tallied. An online survey was developed for learners who completed the CRFC (completers), and for those who applied but did not yet complete the program (noncompleters), administered using Google Forms.


Results: With regard to reach, 236 applications were received from 23/203 (11%) countries in the world; 51 (22%) were from low- or middle-income countries. A total of 130 (55%) have completed the CRFC; mean scores on the final examination were 88.3 +/- 7.1%, with no difference by country income classification (P= .052). Sixteen (22%) noncompleters and 37 (34%) completers responded to the survey. Barriers reported by noncompleters were time constraints, cost, and technical issues. Overall satisfaction (scale 1-5) with the CRFC was high (4.49 +/- 0.51); most completers would highly recommend the CRFC to others (4.30 +/- 0.66), and perceived that the information provided will contribute to their work and/or the care of their patients (4.38 +/- 0.89); 29 (78%) had used the information from the CRFC in their practice.


Conclusions: The reach of the CRFC still needs to be broadened, in particular in low-resource settings. Learners are highly satisfied with the certification, and its impacts on CR practice are encouraging. Input has been implemented to improve the CRFC.