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Cardiac rehabilitation


Although the incidence of coronary heart disease is decreasing in Scotland, it is still a leading cause of illness and mortality, with an incident rate of 375 per 100,000 of the population in 2014/15.

In the last ten years there has been an improvement in 30-day survival following hospitalisation for a first heart attack from 85% to 92%. As a consequence a growing number of people in Scotland are living with heart disease.

Remit and target users

This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations and best practice guidance on the management of patients referred for cardiac rehabilitation. It provides recommendations on assessment, health behaviour-change techniques, lifestyle risk factor management, psychosocial health, vocational rehabilitation and medical risk management.

This guideline will be of interest to cardiologists and physicians, dietitians, exercise professionals, general practitioners, health service managers, primary and secondary care nurses, patients, pharmacists, physiotherapists, psychologists, public health staff, specialist nurses, third sector organisations and other healthcare professionals working with patients with cardiac disease.

How this guideline was developed

This guideline was developed using a standard methodology based on a systematic review of the evidence. Further details can be found in SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer’s Handbook.

Keeping up to date

This guideline was published in 2017 and will be considered for review in three years. The review history, and any updates to the guideline in the interim period, will be noted in the review report.

If you are aware of any new evidence that would update this guideline please complete a change request form and return to:

Current < 3 years

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