David Z. Prince, M.D.
Assistant Professor, The Arthur S. Abramson Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (General Internal Medicine)
1) “How do I find the right Cardiac Rehabilitation program for me?”
Montefiore Cardiac Rehabilitation is a highly personalized program that has a physician present at all times while patients are exercising. Not all patients need such intense supervision. If your medical condition does not require close supervision while exercising any program that is geographically convenient to home or work would be adequate. Many patients suffer from depression or anxiety following cardiac procedures, especially bypass surgery. For these patients close supervision is greatly reassuring and can achieve a more full psychological recovery that can often lag behind physical recovery.
2) “What is the time commitment involved in Cardiac Rehabilitation?”
A standard course of Cardiac Rehabilitation is three times a week for twelve weeks. Some patients require a shorter duration, especially if they were active and committed exercisers prior to their cardiac event.
3) “Now that I’m interested in Cardiac Rehabilitation, can I just sign up?”
No you cannot. All patients must be referred by their primary care provider or cardiologist. Doctors who specialize in cardiac rehabilitation are specialists and must therefore receive a referral from another doctor.
4) “I am an active person already, do I really need Cardiac Rehabilitation?”
Even “active” patients benefit from a supervised exercise program. Most patients who identify themselves as “active” are not regular exercisers, and most regular exercisers do not perform aerobic exercise in a formal structured way. Physician supervised exercise is the best way to make sure that each patient is getting the right amount of exercise, not too much, and not too little.
5) “Why didn’t my doctor tell me about Cardiac Rehabilitation?”
Do not feel alone! Cumulatively only 10 - 47% of all patients who are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation are actually referred to Cardiac Rehabilitation programs, although the benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation are well known and well described in the international medical literature. Many physicians believe that patients will “do it on their own” if motivated; however, most patients benefit from the reassurance and motivation that physician supervision offers.
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