Availability and delivery of cardiac rehabilitation in South-East Asia: How does it compare globally?

Mohiul Chowdhury, Fiorella A. Heald, Karam Turk-Adawi, Marta Supervia, Abraham Samuel Babu, Basuni Radi, Sherry L. Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aims of this study were to establish cardiac rehabilitation (CR) availability and density, as well as the nature of programs in South-East Asian Region (SEAR) countries, and to compare this with other regions globally. Methods: In 2016/2017, the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation engaged cardiac associations to facilitate program identification globally. An online survey was administered to identify programs using REDCap, assessing capacity and characteristics. CR density was computed using Global Burden of Disease study annual ischemic heart disease (IHD) incidence estimates. The program audit was updated in 2020. Results: CR was available in 6/11 (54.5%) SEAR countries. Data were collected in 5 countries (83.3% country response); 32/69 (68.1% response rate from 2016/2017) programs completed the survey. These data were compared to 1082 (32.1%) programs in 93/111 (83.3%) countries with CR. Across SEAR countries, there was only one CR spot per 283 IHD patients (vs. 12 globally), with an unmet regional need of 4,258,968 spots annually. Most programs were in tertiary care centers (n = 25, 78.1%; vs. 46.1% globally, P < 0.001). Most were funded privately (n = 17, 56.7%; vs. 17.9%, P < 0.001), and 22 (73.3%) patients were paying out of pocket (vs. 36.2% globally; P < 0.001). The mean number of staff on the multidisciplinary teams was 5.5 ± 3.0 (vs. 5.9 ± 2.8 globally P = 0.268), offering 8.6 ± 1.7/11 core components (consistent with other countries) over 16.8 ± 12.6 h (vs. 36.2 ± 53.3 globally, P = 0.01). Conclusion: Funded CR capacity must be augmented in SEAR. Where available, services were consistent with guidelines, and other regions of the globe, despite programs being shorter than other regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalWHO South-East Asia journal of public health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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