Objectives To determine the effect of contemporary exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation on generic and disease-specific health related quality of life for people with coronary artery disease.Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.Study eligibility criteria Randomised controlled trials testing exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation versus no exercise control that recruited after 31 December 1999. On 30 July 2019, we searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE (Ovid), Embase (Ovid) and CINAHL (EBSCO) databases.Study appraisal and synthesis Studies were screened for inclusion by two independent reviewers. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Data were reported as pooled means (95% CI for between-group difference.Results We identified 24 studies (n=4890). We performed meta-analyses for 15 short-term and 9 medium-term outcomes (36-Item Short Form Survey Instrument (SF-36), EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) and MacNew, a cardiac-specific outcome). Six short-term and five medium-term SF-36 domains statistically favoured exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation. Only for two short-term SF-36 outcomes, ‘physical function’ (mean difference 12.0, 95% CI 4.4 to 19.6) and ‘role physical’ (mean difference 16.9, 95% CI 2.4 to 31.3), did the benefit appear to be clinically important. Meta-analyses of the short-term SF-36 physical and mental component scores, EQ-5D and MacNew and the medium-term SF-36 physical component score, did not show statistically significant benefits. Only two studies had a low risk of bias (n=463 participants).Conclusions and implications of key findings There is some evidence of a short-term benefit of contemporary exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation on quality of life for people with coronary artery disease. However, the contemporary data presented in this review are insufficient to support its routine use.
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- coronary heart disease
- coronary intervention
- ischaemic heart disease
- myocardial infarction
- rehabilitation medicine
ASJC Scopus subject areas