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Volume 31, Nº 4, July and August 2018


DOI: http://www.dx.doi.org/10.5935/2359-4802.20180032


Telerehabilitation for Cardiac Patients: Systematic Review

Danieli de Cristo

Natan Pinto do Nascimento

Alexandre Simões Dias

Amanda Sachetti


Cardiovascular rehabilitation is one nonpharmacological intervention used to treat cardiovascular diseases. Despite the proven benefits of cardiovascular rehabilitation, the adherence of patients with heart disease is low. Thus, the alternative of telerehabilitation has gained importance, and many studies are being carried out to verify its efficacy.

To review the literature and assess the efficacy of telerehabilitation for the cardiac population.

This is a systematic review of the literature. The search was conducted in the electronic databases MEDLINE/PubMed (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online), PubMed Central® (PMC), Cochrane Library, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), using the combination of descriptors, including terms of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and its entry terms. The MeSH terms used in combination were: “telerehabilitation” AND “cardiac rehabilitation” (Table 1). Then, a manual search by use of the articles selected, as well as a search in the gray literature, was conducted.

The search strategy collected 154 studies, of which 109 were excluded because of duplication in the databases and 29 for not being clinical studies. Sixteen clinical studies were included for full analysis, of which 2 were excluded for being prospective, 2 for being duplicate and 5 for not including any outcome. Thus, 7 studies were included.

Cardiac rehabilitation using telerehabilitation is a feasible and safe alternative to conventional rehabilitation, and has high adherence of patients with heart disease. It can be added to conventional cardiovascular rehabilitation programs or used in isolation.

Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases; Cardiac Rehabilitation; Telerehabilitation; Physical Therapy Specialty; Review.