In a first-ever evaluation of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), researchers have found that of the almost 700 patients enroled from 2013 to 2018, over 80% has completed the programme, a rate higher than what is observed in Western settings.
It is the first and sole cardiac rehabilitation programme in Qatar. Patients of this programme can take full advantage of its offerings such as patient education, structured exercise and psychosocial counselling.
Senior author of the study, Dr Karam Turk-Adawi of Qatar University (QU) said: “Despite the large amount of evidence documenting the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation in Western settings, this is among the few studies in the Eastern Mediterranean Region where cardiovascular disease is dramatically increasing.”
Patients who participated in the approximately 9-week programme achieved clinically meaningful reductions in their heart risk factors such as cholesterol, tobacco use and blood pressure. They also greatly improve their functional capacity to do the activities they enjoy, and their quality of life in many domains. This all likely translates to reduced death and disability over the long-term. These results are revealed in the study published in the journal Global Heart, of the World Heart Federation.
Dr Mohamed al-Hashemi, programme director and co-investigator, underlined the need for programme expansion while providing quality services. “We hope to launch a satellite programme so we can treat all the patients in need every year with our low-cost, high-quality programme delivered by an expert team of nurses, exercise specialists, dietitians, among others.”
Prof Sherry L Grace of York University in Canada, co-author and immediate past-chair of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation added, “Based on what we know about cardiac rehab delivery around the world, Qatar’s programme is world-class. We are thrilled Qatar is joining our international cardiac rehabilitation registry, and they can showcase their program compared to others around the globe”
Two QU masters of Public Health students, Rahma Saad and Eman Faisal were part of the team that conducted the study.