What is the best practice for cardiac rehabilitation really? The clinical practice in Europe differs enormously with regard to how we do it, when we do it and where we do it, despite numerous guidelines and several scientific papers regarding this topic. The Take Heart project aims to identify the best clinical practice in cardiac rehabilitation and thereby improve the quality and attendance rates among eligible patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).
In Europe, CHD accounts for an estimated 1.95 million deaths each year and is estimated to cost the EU economy € 60 billion a year. In secondary prevention, exercise training is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality in CHD. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation is therefore strongly recommended to patients with CHD, and should be offered to all eligible patients. However, the reality is quite the opposite! It is estimated that less than 30 % of eligible patients attend the cardiac rehabilitation.
The general objective of the Take Heart project is to promote social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity and equal access to sport for all. The project aims to identify and share good practice in regard to cardiac rehabilitation among European countries, by implementation of the EU Physical Activity Guidelines.
The Take Heart Project was initiated by professor Biffi at the Institute of Sports Medicine and Science, Coni Servizi in Rome, in participation with the LHL-clinics in Norway, SALK- the University Institute of Sports Medicine, Prevention and Rehabilitation in Austria, the University of Craiova in Romania and DEKUT in Hungary.
Several activities have been performed, and in May, 10 delegates from the collaborating countries participated in the Train the Trainers seminar. For two days, we participated in medical educational activities with the aim to be able to train other professionals. In November, we will invite other health care professionals to attend the Train the Trainers seminar in Trondheim and Oslo. At these seminars, we hope to gather dedicated health care professionals from Norway to take part in this interdisciplinary effort for patients with CHD and their opportunities to participate in physical activity and sport.
Inger-Lise Aamot, Head of Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Exercise Training as Medicine for Cardiopulmonary Conditions and post-doc at CERG and Tore Kristian Danielsen, MD and PhD student at Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo