Cardiac rehabilitation for all Australians

Posted 14 Feb 2022

New research at Flinders will address inequalities in cardiovascular care by developing a program tailored to the needs of patients with a low socioeconomic status living in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary program that prevents recurrent events, hospitalisation and deaths of people with cardiovascular diseases after they have experienced a heart attack.

However, less than 50 per cent of patients referred for cardiac rehabilitation participate, and people with low socioeconomic status are less likely to attend.

Telehealth addresses the barrier of physical access to cardiac rehabilitation. In South Australia, the Integrated Cardiovascular Clinical Network (iCCnet SA) delivers telehealth-based care to people living in rural areas. However, there is still a need to improve attendance to cardiac rehabilitation, particularly, for people with low socioeconomic status.

Flinders University researcher Dr Alline Beleigoli has received a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to tackle the issue by co-designing a telehealth-based cardiac rehabilitation program for patients with cardiovascular diseases and low socioeconomic status living in rural Australia.

Dr Beleigoli and her team believe a co-design approach will help to meet the specific needs and preferences for telehealth-based cardiac rehabilitation within this population.

“Our goal is to develop and implement ‘CR4ALL’, a new care pathway within the iCCnet telehealth service to increase attendance and completion of cardiac rehabilitation among patients with a low socioeconomic status living in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia,” Dr Beleigoli said.

“In this study, we will co-design CR4ALL with patients with a low socioeconomic status, and professionals working in telehealth-based cardiac rehabilitation in South Australia.

“This study will address inequalities in the care of people with cardiovascular diseases, and also contribute to filling a gap in the science around how to co-design and develop tailored telehealth services, which is an area with scarce evidence base.”

Research category: Clinical

Project title: CR4ALL- Cardiac Rehabilitation for All:  A telehealth cardiac rehabilitation care pathway tailored to the needs and preferences of disadvantaged populations living with cardiovascular diseases in rural and remote Australia 

Lead researcher: Dr Alline Beleigoli


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive information on our latest news and events