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Heart failure patients' experiences of telerehabilitation

20 June 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 12


In the UK, almost 1 million people are living with heart failure, with heart and circulatory diseases accounting for 27% of all deaths, according to the British Heart Foundation. Current heart failure guidelines support cardiac rehabilitation as an intervention to reduce cardiovascular events, increase exercise tolerance and enhance patients' quality of life. Research indicates that telerehabilitation is an effective component of heart failure management, which helps overcome perceived barriers to cardiac rehabilitation including travel to appointments, long waiting times and accessibility. Understanding patient experiences and increasing telerehabilitation among heart failure patients is pertinent to implementing person-centred care, reducing risk and optimising quality of life.

Heart failure is not a single disease, but rather a clinical condition with a variety of aetiologies and pathophysiologies (Bozkurt et al, 2021). It is a complex clinical syndrome that results from any structural or functional impairment of ventricular filling or ejection of blood. The cardinal manifestations of heart failure are dyspnoea and fatigue that may limit exercise tolerance, fluid retention that can cause pulmonary congestion, and/or peripheral oedema (McDonagh et al, 2021; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2018).

In the UK, close to 1 million people are living with heart failure (NICE, 2018; Bellanca et al, 2023; British Heart Foundation, 2024), with 3.6 million people affected in Northwest Europe, and projections indicate a rise to 5 million by 2025 (Savarese et al, 2023). The figures indicate that, in the UK, every year 200 000 people are diagnosed with heart failure, with the NHS spending 2% of its budget on managing the condition (Lawson et al, 2019; McDonagh et al, 2021). In western nations, prevalence is predicted to increase further to affect 3% of the population by 2025 (Barrett et al, 2019).

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