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What is Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is a structured exercise and education programme designed to help patients recover from their heart event. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to improve short-term recovery and to promote long-term changes in lifestyle.
Who is Eligible to participate in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme?
In this hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation provides a service for patients recovering from
  • Heart Attack (myocardial infarction) or/and Angioplasty and stents
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
  • Valve surgery
  • Patients with angina may also benefit from this programme.
What are the Aims of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
·         Improve heart function and general health, partly through exercise
·         Support you in making long-term changes in your lifestyle
·         Increase your confidence
·         Modify the risk factors for coronary artery disease
·         Reduce the risk of heart events in the future
·         Improve your quality of life
Who is involved in Cardiac Rehabilitation?
We have a multidisciplinary team, led by a cardiac rehabilitation coordinator that includes the following:
  • Consultant Cardiologist
  • Cardiac Registrar
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Dietician
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychotherapist
  • Secretary
Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation
Those who participate in the programme and follow the lifestyle advice may expect improvements in:
·         Personal fitness
·         Physical and emotional well-being
·         Quality of Life
·         Blood pressure
·         Cholesterol management
·         Weight control
·         Understanding of medications
What is the Process of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is divided into four phases or stages:
Phase I
Phase I pertains to the in-hospital stage of your recovery. A cardiac rehabilitation nurse will meet you and your spouse/partner/friend. The main focus at this stage is providing basic information about your diagnosis and its implications. Cardiac risk factors are assessed and discussed if appropriate and you will receive information regarding a healthy lifestyle. We will also discuss driving, returning to work, exercise and any individual priorities you may have. You will receive a discharge booklet (see link) and the contact details of the cardiac rehabilitation nurses before discharge. Plans will also be made for further follow-up. If you are scheduled for heart surgery, you will receive information about your operation at this stage. The multidisciplinary team may also be involved.
Phase II
This includes the period from discharge until you start the cardiac rehabilitation programme (Phase III). It may be a stressful time for you and your family. The cardiac nurses will phone you a few weeks after discharge and invite you into group meetings, facilitated by the cardiac rehabilitation nurse and the physiotherapist. This is an opportunity to discuss cardiac risk factors, exercise, medications, mood any ongoing symptoms or lifestyle changes. You may also phone the cardiac rehabilitation nurse at any stage to arrange an individual meeting.
Other resources available to you include:
• Stop Smoking Courses in St Vincent’s University Hospital
• The Irish Heart Foundation (
Phase III
Phase III is a six-week structured exercise and education programme. There are eleven patients in a group. In this hospital we have two programmes which presently run on a:
  • Monday and Wednesday, starting at 09.45hrs and finishing at 12.00hrs
  • Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 09.50 hrs and finishing at 12.00hrs
Your spouse/partner/friend is encouraged to attend the sessions with you if possible. You will have an individual exercise stress test before attending the phase III programme and an individual exercise regime is prescribed accordingly. If necessary a physiotherapist will assess you before the programme starts. A team member gives an education talk at each session on topics such as healthy eating, coping with your condition, risk factors for heart disease and medication. Patients receive individual psychotherapy sessions if required. At the end of phase III the nurse, physiotherapist and psychotherapist send a letter to your G.P. and consultant cardiologist outlining your progress during the programme.
Phase IV
Patients who have attended the phase III Cardiac Rehabilitation programme are invited to return to an education session, approximately 6-12 months following completion of the programme. This is an afternoon session run by the multidisciplinary team members.
Any person who has completed a Phase III programme can also be referred to a local gym for exercise classes with a qualified instructor.
The Cardiac Rehabilitation team can be contacted at the above number for advice/information related to your cardiac condition or to discuss how you can participate in a programme. We can also be contacted to discuss potential referrals.
Marie Minogue
Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist
Kathryn O’Sullivan
Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist
Dr Martin Quinn,
Consultant Cardiologist
Contact Details