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Cardiac Rehabilitation

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Service commenced in the Bon Secours Hospital Cork in 2004. Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is the process by which the patients with Cardiac Disease in partnership with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals are encouraged and supported to achieve and maintain optimal physical and psychological health.  The involvement of partners /other family members is also important. (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network - SIGN 2002). 

Goals of Cardiac Rehabilitation: 

  • Enhance understanding of cardiac condition and recovery from a cardiac event.
  • Restoration of self-confidence.
  • Improve fitness levels.
  • Improve stress management.
  • Enhance awareness of diet and cardioprotection.
  • Develop more self confidence and help in the return to work if appropriate and/or previous functional capacity.

Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation: 

Cardiac Rehabilitation consists of four phases: 

Phase I        In-patient stay phase

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse / Co-ordinator and members of the multidisciplinary team will visit cardiac patients in the Coronary Care Unit/ICU and in the wards, the purpose of these visits are to:

1.      Give support and information to the patients and their families about heart disease.

2.      Assist them to identify their risk factors and discuss modifications of these risk factors.

3.      Gain support from family members to assist the patient in maintaining the necessary lifestyle changes.

4.      Encourage the patients to adhere to their Outpatients activity programme and walking programme.

5.      Inform patients re phase III education programme and encourage them and their partners to attend.

Phase II       The immediate post-discharge phase 

Phase II may consist of one or more of the following:

§         Telephone follow-up to provide on-going support and advice

§         Home visits by the Public Health Nurse if necessary

§         The Heart Manual Programme

§         Refer to community services, i.e. primary care team, Smoking Resource Officers, etc. 

Phase III        Exercise and Education Programme 

This is a structured exercise and education group programme.  The usual length is twice weekly over 6 weeks.  It consists of an individually tailored supervised exercise programme and a 60 minute education session on one day per week.

The education component is delivered by members of the multidisciplinary team for patients and their families.

The multidisciplinary team consist of:

                 Consultant Cardiologist


                 Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse 



Prior to commencement of the programme each individual is asked to complete a shuttle walk test and a quality of life questionnaire.  The exercise prescription is based on clinical status, the shuttle walk test, risk stratification and previous activity.  Cardiac Monitoring is in progress during exercise classes.  The shuttle walk test and quality of life questionnaire are repeated at the end of the 6 week programme to show improvements gained. 

Phase IV      The long-term maintenance phase 

This phase involves long term maintenance of individual goals. 

Patients who have completed the phase III programme are welcome to attend the physiotherapy gym for further supervised exercise.  These sessions occur on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Places can be booked by contacting 021 4801630. 

The Bon Secours patient support group is available online at 

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse can be contacted on 021 4542807 Bleep 122 

Cardiac support groups may also be a feature and they are currently four support group in the H.S.E. South.

Ballincollig:  087-9270557,  021 4872626   Youghal:      087-23906559

Clonakilty:   087-9192587                         Douglas:      021-4893581

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