Can level of education, accreditation and use of databases in cardiac rehabilitation be improved? Results from the European Cardiac Rehabilitation Inventory Survey

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Ann-Dorthe Zwisler
  • Birna Bjarnason-Wehrens
  • Hannah McGee
  • Massimo F Piepoli
  • Werner Benzer
  • Jean-Paul Schmid
  • Paul Dendale
  • Nana-Goar V Pogosova
  • Dumitru Zdrenghea
  • Josef Niebauer
  • Miguel Mendes
  • Patrick Doherty
  • Esteban Garcia-Porrero
  • Bernhard Rauch
  • Dan Gaita
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Section, European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation

Research units


INTRODUCTION: Professional skills, education and accreditation, along with clinical outcome assessment, are considered important factors to achieve comprehensive delivery and quality of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). This study assessed professional educational programmes, accreditation and use of databases in CR across the European countries.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Questions on professional education, accreditation and clinical databases from the European Cardiac Rehabilitation Inventory Survey, which is a postal questionnaire survey, conducted from November 2007 to January 2009 among national CR-related organizations in Europe; 28 countries responded (72%) to this survey.

RESULTS: Among the participating countries, 32% had guidelines on professional CR skills, 61% had formal educational programmes and 29% had accreditation systems for professional CR skills. One hundred and seventy-four ad-hoc educational and scientific activities were registered during 2005-2007. Forty-three percent of the countries had established CR programme accreditation systems, primarily aimed at phase 2. One in three (35%) countries had established clinical CR databases with a further 25% planning to do so.

CONCLUSION: More than half of the European countries had developed formal CR educational programmes. Furthermore, many ad-hoc CR-related meetings and conference activities take place across Europe. Although only a quarter of countries had developed accreditation systems aimed at professionals, programme accreditation was somewhat more widespread with over a third having programme accreditation systems. Clinical databases were underdeveloped. A greater focus on education, accreditation and database implementation is needed to promote CR availability and the quality of CR services for the benefit of cardiac patients across Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of preventive cardiology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)143-150
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2012

ID: 322037


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