1. Van Ryn-Bolland, H.
  2. Tulloch, H.
  3. Lorello, C.

Article Content

Rationale: In 2004, the Ottawa Heart Institute Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre began a new program option called Rehab Lite (RL). This program option allows patients to have one to one access to a staff physiotherapist who provide an initial and final cardiac assessment (stress test and cardiac risk profile) with no participation in onsite exercise classes. This three month program was designed to improve access to a larger cardiac rehabilitation (CR) population tailored to meet the needs of participants who were previously active, but unable to attend the onsite program (OP).


Objective: To evaluate the impact of the two program options on the following variables: weight, waist circumference, estimated functional exercise capacity and self-reported minutes of exercise per week.


Methodology: To compare baseline and follow-up variables on 498 patients enrolled in the onsite high intensity program option (416 men, 82 women), compared to 454 patients enrolled in the Rehab Lite option (386 men, 68 women).


Results: Both the OP and RL programs were quite comparable demographically. (Mean age: 57 yrs+/-10.7 vs. 60 yrs+/-11.4; BMI: 28.4 kg/m2+/-5.0 vs. 28.0 kg/m2+/-4.4; WC: 99.9 cm+/- 12.5 vs. 98.7 cm+/-11.9, respectively). Mean program outcomes using paired t-tests show weight lost OP 0.67 kg+/-6.4 vs. RL lost 1.14 kg+/-3.1 (p < 0.001). OP lost 3.1 cm+/-4.2 (p < 0.001) in mean waist circumference vs. RL lost 3.3 cm+/-4.7 (p < 0.001). PA minutes increased in OP+46 minutes/week+/-285 (p < 0.05) vs. RL + 26 minutes/week+/-264. Controlling for slight differences in age and physical activity at baseline statistically significant differences were only found between groups in follow-up functional exercise capacity OP: 9.1METS+/-1.8 vs. RL: 8.1METS+/-2.3 (p < 0.05). However, both groups showed a significant improvement in their functional capacity.


Conclusion: By the end of each program, both the OP and RL groups report doing a similar amount of exercise per week (PA = 331 min+/-247 vs. 346 min+/-214, respectively). The cost was greater for the OP program at $243.52 per patient vs. $197.76 for the RL program; therefore, Rehab Lite is a reasonable and cost effective program option for low risk clients who were previously active and who wish to have follow-up by the CR program.