Cardiac rehabilitation begins in hospital. A member of the cardiac rehabilitation team will visit and provide detailed information about:
- your state of health and how the heart attack may have affected it
- the type of treatment that you received
- what medications you will need to take when you leave hospital
- what specific risk factors are thought to have contributed to your heart attack
- what lifestyle changes you can make to address those risk factors
The cardiac nurse was sympathetic when explaining James’ condition and what he needed to do to…
Cardiac rehabilitation helped Mervyn understand that losing weight and regular exercise were…
When back at home, Alan experienced chest pains and he and his wife were unsure if it was…
- advice on how to stop smoking
- a copy of the BMA Cardiac rehabilitation – information booklet and personal plan
- telephone follow-up and Primary PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) clinics
- locally based pre-exercise assessments clinics
- group education sessions for patients and their carers
- supervised exercise sessions
- relaxation and psychological support
- advice on the long term management of their cardiac condition
Neil’s rehabilitation programme included exercise, relaxation techniques and hypnosis to help him…
It is usually recommended, once at home, that people get plenty of rest and only do light activities, such as climbing up and down the stairs or short walks, which can be increased gradually over several weeks with advice from the care team.
Alan and his wife explain how he has gradually increased his daily physical activities following…
Stanley had a heart attack three weeks ago and says he is able to do light daily activities.
John talks about his experience of following a cardiac rehabilitation programme, including…
Cardiac rehabilitation programmes for people who have had a heart attack, are run either at the local hospital or at a nearby centre and starts about 4 -8 weeks after leaving hospital. People usually go once or twice a week for between 6 and 12 weeks, sometimes longer. The cardiac rehabilitation nurse will explain the local programmes.
John describes what happened during his first cardiac rehabilitation exercise session.
He found the heart manual marvellous.
Many people said cardiac rehabilitation had been a fundamental part of their emotional and physical recovery. At these programmes – they built up their fitness through exercise sessions, they learnt what they could and could not do and there were talks and advice on lifestyle, such as diet and relaxation techniques. Topics that people might not want to talk to their doctor about, such as sex, are also discussed.
She got a lot out of the hospital cardiac rehabilitation programme.
The rehabilitation was a huge help, and vital in his recovery.
The cardiac rehabilitation programme has made James very aware of the importance of exercise.
In many cases, cardiac rehabilitation helped to restore people’s confidence. Many said that meeting and talking to other people who had had a similar experience, and support from the cardiac rehabilitation staff, had helped them to recover. People were surprised to find that a heart attack can affect different types of people including those who are not overweight and that men are more likely to have a heart attack than women.
Rehabilitation gave him great confidence – he was a different person at the end of it.
Support from the staff and talking to other heart patients at cardiac rehabilitation helped her…
John said that in his cardiac rehab group he found more women and ‘normal’ weight people than he…
Partners or carers of heart attack patients are encouraged to attend these classes. Many valued this because their partners or carers got a better understanding of how much they could do, and showed them that they didn’t have to worry.
Some younger people found it difficult to take part in an organised cardiac rehabilitation programme with much older people. A few said they would have liked to have done more strenuous exercises. Cardiac rehabilitation classes should be tailored to the individual’s needs: if they seem not to be, it is worth discussing this with the cardiac rehabilitation nurses.
Being the youngest woman at the cardiac rehab programme was very difficult.
Being able to talk to others in a similar situation really helps.
Enjoys the sharing, and the greater understanding he gets in his support group.
People have fun at his support group.
Some people did not feel a need to join a support group; some younger people would have liked to be in one but felt uncomfortable that they were younger than the other people there. But many more felt that the benefits had greatly exceeded their expectations.
A few people who had not known of a support group, said they found it hard to get information and they felt this had made it harder to recover from their heart attack. Others felt that once the initial rehabilitation programmes had finished, people who had had a heart attack did not get enough support.
Other sources of support during rehabilitation were the cardiac rehabilitation nurses, family and friends and a religious faith.
If you have recently had a heart attack, you may be given a Heart Manual. This includes a six-week recovery plan as well as relaxation and information CDs for you and your family. The Heart Manual enables you to make progress at home, with telephone contact and/or visits from a member of the cardiac rehabilitation team. Before you are discharged from hospital, a rehabilitation nurse may have assessed your exercise ability, anxieties and risk factors so that your rehabilitation can be tailored to meet your needs. It can be used as a stand-alone programme or in combination with hospital based programmes. For more information on the Heart Manual see the Heart Manual website.