A Survey of Accessibility to Australia’s Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs to Patient Barriers

Deborah van Gaans, Andrew Tonkin


Despite the evidence to support cardiac rehabilitation, existing services remain underutilised. Accessibility to those services is a major factor in the underutilisation of current programs. Available literature on barriers to the accessibility of out-patient cardiac rehabilitation services were reviewed. Using Penchansky and Thomas’ (1981) five dimensions of accessibility as a structural framework, the information obtained from this review was then used to create a formal questionnaire which was sent to each of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs within Australia in 2007-2008 (n=401). The survey highlighted that the need for a referral, the disease the patient has, the distance required for travel, whether group and individual sessions are provided, flexibility in service delivery setting, hours of operation, cost, and the range of program components, significantly limit patient accessibility to Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs. Completion rates were low for most programs. The Survey revealed that patient accessibility to Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs includes various socio-economic and geographic impediments that can prevent or limit service use. While barriers to cardiac rehabilitation are well known, service providers need to ensure these patient barriers are taken into consideration when providing a Phase 2 Cardiac Rehabilitation Program to improve their accessibility.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/rhs.v2n2p162


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