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A center-based cardiac rehabilitation program has greater adherence and satisfaction rates compared to community-based exercise training administered to cancer survivors with cardiovascular risk, according to this study.

Both cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular risk factors pose a significant burden on healthcare. A randomized controlled trial assessed the adherence, safety, and satisfaction of a center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) program among cancer survivors with an increased cardiovascular risk versus community-based exercise training (CBET). The study concluded that both interventions are safe and feasible; however, cancer survivors exhibited greater satisfaction and adherence to CBCR. These study findings are published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.

The Trial Had Relatively High Completion and Retention Rates

This trial reported a 92.5% completion rate and 100% retention vs. 92.5% retention rate in CBET groups. The reasons underlying missed exercise sessions included transportation difficulties, family obligations, scheduled exams or appointments, and medical conditions, with approximately half of the reasons attributed to work obligations.  

Study Participants Were More Adherent to CBCR

In the context of adherence to interventions, CBCR has a significantly higher adherence rate than CBET, with 14.2% of missed sessions occurring without a particular reason. The reasons supporting this finding include the multidisciplinary nature of the program, educational and motivational sessions, and the hospital setting, all of which contribute to patient compliance.

COVID-19 – A Negative Influence on Feasibility Rates

Participants in both CBCR and CBET groups missed exercise sessions due to isolation rules or COVID-19 infection. Such difficulties encountered during the pandemic period negatively influenced the feasibility of the study interventions.

Safety Profiles of Interventions

Adverse events (AEs) associated with exercise were mainly related to cardiovascular conditions, fatigue, and musculoskeletal conditions, which were significantly higher in participants in the CBET intervention group. Similarly, CBET participants experienced significantly higher AEs unrelated to exercise, including fatigue.

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Higher Patient Satisfaction in the CBCR Group

While both the interventions had high levels of satisfaction, the CBCR group had higher scores, with 84.2% of participants selecting “very satisfied” in the study questionnaire, compared to only 51.3% of participants in the CBET group.

Though both exercise-based interventions were found to be feasible and safe, the CBCR intervention was associated with greater satisfaction and adherence rates among cancer survivors compared to CBET interventions.

Source

Viamonte, S. G., Joaquim, A., Alves, A., Vilela, E., Capela, A., Ferreira, C., Costa, A. J., Teixeira, M., Duarte, B., Rato, N., Tavares, A., Santos, M., & Ribeiro, F. (2023). Adherence, safety, and satisfaction of a cardio-oncology rehabilitation program framework versus community exercise training for cancer survivors: findings from the CORE trial. Supportive Care in Cancer, 31(3), 173. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-023-07638-1