Research Article| Volume 119, ISSUE 2, P202-211, July 10, 2007

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Home-based versus hospital-based rehabilitation after myocardial infarction: A randomized trial with preference arms — Cornwall Heart Attack Rehabilitation Management Study (CHARMS)

Published:December 30, 2006DOI:



      Participation in cardiac rehabilitation after acute myocardial infarction is sub-optimal. Offering home-based rehabilitation may improve uptake. We report the first randomized study of cardiac rehabilitation to include patient preference.


      To compare the clinical effectiveness of a home-based rehabilitation with hospital-based rehabilitation after myocardial infarction and to determine whether patient choice affects clinical outcomes.


      Pragmatic randomized controlled trial with patient preference arms.


      Rural South West England.


      Patients admitted with uncomplicated myocardial infarction were offered hospital-based rehabilitation classes over 8–10 weeks or a self-help package of six weeks' duration (the Heart Manual) supported by a nurse. Primary outcomes at 9 months were mean depression and anxiety scores on the Hospital Anxiety Depression scale, quality of life after myocardial infarction (MacNew) score and serum total cholesterol.


      Of the 230 patients who agreed to participate, 104 (45%) consented to randomization and 126 (55%) chose their rehabilitation programme. Nine month follow-up data were available for 84/104 (81%) randomized and 100/126 (79%) preference patients. At follow-up no difference was seen in the change in mean depression scores between the randomized home and hospital-based groups (mean difference: 0; 95% confidence interval, −1.12 to 1.12) nor mean anxiety score (−0.07; −1.42 to 1.28), mean global MacNew score (0.14; −0.35 to 0.62) and mean total cholesterol levels (−0.18; −0.62 to 0.27). Neither were there any significant differences in outcomes between the preference groups.


      Home-based cardiac rehabilitation with the Heart Manual was as effective as hospital-based rehabilitation for patients after myocardial infarction. Choosing a rehabilitation programme did not significantly affect clinical outcomes.


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