Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in patients with coronary heart disease: A practice guideline

R. J. Achttien, J. B. Staal, S. van der Voort, H. M.C. Kemps, H. Koers, M. W.A. Jongert, E. J.M. Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Background To improve the quality of exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) the CR guideline from the Dutch Royal Society for Physiotherapists (KNGF) has been updated. This guideline can be considered an addition to the 2011 Dutch Multidisci-plinary CR guideline, as it includes several novel topics. Methods A systematic literature search was performed to formulate conclusions on the efficacy of exercise-based interventions during all CR phases in patients with CHD. Evidence was graded (1-4) according the Dutch evidence-based guideline development (EBRO) criteria. In case of insufficient scientificevidence, recommendations were based on expert opinion. This guideline comprised a structured approach including assessment, treatment and evaluation. Results Recommendations for exercise-based CR were formulated covering the following topics: preoperative physiotherapy, mobilisation during the clinical phase, aerobic exercise, strength training, and relaxation therapy during the outpatient rehabilitation phase, and adoption and monitoring of a physically active lifestyle after outpatient rehabilitation. Conclusions There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of exercise-based CR during all phases of CR. The implementation of this guideline in clinical practice needs further evaluation as well as the maintenance of an active lifestyle after supervised rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalNetherlands Heart Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical practice
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation


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