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The effectiveness of interventions to maintain exercise and physical activity in post-cardiac rehabilitation populations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Martinello N, Saunders S, Reid R
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 2019 May;39(3):161-167
systematic review

PURPOSE: Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program addressing health behavior changes and promoting self-management among individuals with heart disease. This includes initiation of regular physical activity. However, long-term physical activity after cardiac rehabilitation among this population remains a challenge. METHODS: This study was a systematic review and meta-analysis according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Randomized controlled trials were identified by searching multiple databases and were selected if they evaluated an intervention with a physical activity or exercise component among individuals who completed cardiac rehabilitation. A descriptive synthesis was performed for all studies and means and standard deviations were used for meta-analysis when possible. Risk of bias, heterogeneity, and publication bias were assessed. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria and 19 were included in the meta-analysis. The mean age of participants across studies was 60 yr and 80% were male. Descriptive synthesis of the studies combined with meta-analysis results provided evidence of increased physical activity among intervention groups compared with control groups at follow-up. CONCLUSION: There is evidence to support the effectiveness of interventions aimed at maintaining physical activity and exercise among adults who have completed cardiac rehabilitation.
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