Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of a standard National Health Service cardiac rehabilitation programme on risk factor reduction for patients after a minor stroke and transient ischaemic attack.Design:Single-blind randomized controlled trial.Setting:Cardiac rehabilitation classes.Subjects: Twenty-four patients.Intervention:All participants received standard care. In addition, the intervention group undertook an eight-week cardiac rehabilitation programme consisting of weekly exercise and education classes. Outcome measures:Cardiovascular disease risk score; lipid profiles; resting blood pressure; C-reactive protein (measured with a high sensitive assay) and fibrinogen levels; blood glucose; obesity; physical activity levels; subjective health status (SF-36); Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Results:Group comparison with independent t-tests showed a significantly greater improvement in the cardiovascular disease risk score for participants in the intervention group compared to standard care (intervention 25.7 ± 22.8 to 23.15 ± 18.3, control 25.03 ± 15.4 to 27.12 ± 16.1, t = −1.81, P < 0.05). There were also significant improvements for the intervention group in activity levels (intervention 9.41 ± 7.7 to 8.08 ± 5.7, control 14.50 ± 5.5 to 9.83 ± 6.6, t = −2.00, P < 0.05) and the SF-36 domains of physical functioning (intervention 70 ± 24.6 to 75.4 ± 11.1, control 90.00 ± 12.4 to 83.16 ± 17.3, t = −2.72, P < 0.05) and mental health (intervention 84 ± 40 to 92 ± 40, control 88.00 ± 60 to 84 ± 44, z = −2.06, P < 0.05). Conclusion: The results suggest that standard cardiac rehabilitation programmes are a feasible and effective means of reducing the risk of future cardiovascular events for patients after minor stroke and transient ischaemic attack.
Kirk, H., Kersten, P., Crawford, P., Keens, A., Ashburn, A., & Conway, J. (2013). The cardiac model of rehabilitation for reducing cardiovascular risk factors post Transient Ischaemic Attack and stroke: a randomised controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 28(4), 339-349 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215513502211