The role of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation is well established in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and heart failure. Numerous trials have demonstrated both the effectiveness as well as the cost-effectiveness of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation in improving exercise capacity and quality of life, and in reducing cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to closure of many cardiac rehabilitation centres in Europe resulting in many eligible patients unable to participate in the optimisation of secondary prevention and physical performance. This elicits an even louder call for alternatives such as cardiac telerehabilitation to maintain the delivery of the core components of cardiac rehabilitation to cardiovascular disease patients. The present call for action paper gives an update of recent cardiac telerehabilitation studies and provides a practical guide for the setup of a comprehensive cardiac telerehabilitation intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic. This set up could also be relevant to any cardiovascular disease patient not able to visit cardiac rehabilitation centres regularly after the COVID-19 pandemic ceases.
- cardiovascular disease
- comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation