Evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of a web based cardiac rehabilitation programme for those with angina in primary care

  • Reena Devi

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    In the UK angina affects 2 million people (BHF, 2010b) and unfortunately secondary prevention interventions such as Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) are not widely available for this population (NACR, 2011). This doctoral research project examined the effectiveness and feasibility of an alternative intervention for this population; CR delivered via the internet. The programme was interactive and comprised personalised goal setting orientated around exercise, diet, emotions, and smoking with support available through an online email link or synchronised chat room.A randomised controlled trial (RCT) and semi-structured interviews were used to evaluate the intervention. Primary care patients with angina were randomised to either an intervention group (n=48) or to a control group that did not receive any intervention other than treatment as usual (n=47). Outcome measures were taken at baseline, 6 week and 6 month follow ups. The primary outcome measure was daily steps (measured objectively using Sensewear Pro 3® accelerometer technology). Secondary outcome measures included daily energy expenditure (EE), daily duration of sedentary activity (DDSA), daily duration of moderate activity (DDMA), daily duration of vigorous activity (DDVA), weight, diastolic blood pressure (DBP), systolic blood pressure (SBP), body fat %, fat intake, fibre intake, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and health related quality of life (HRQOL). At the 6 week follow up the intervention group had greater improvements than the control group in daily steps, daily EE, DDSA, DDMA, weight, self-efficacy, emotional quality of life and frequency of angina symptoms. In addition, at the 6 month follow up there were significantly greater improvements in anxiety, and frequency of angina symptoms among the intervention group compared to the control group. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with a subsample of intervention group participants at the 6 week follow up (n=16). Themes resulting from these interviews indicated a high level of programme acceptability and feasibility; ‘self reported improvements’ and ‘programme facilitators’. However, the theme labelled ‘programme barriers’ illustrated intervention related challenges which should be taken into account when delivering the programme.

    Overall the study demonstrated that a new web based CR programme was effective at improving lifestyle related cardiac risk factors for a primary care angina population in both the short-term (significantly improved daily steps, DDSA, DDMA, weight, self-efficacy, emotional QOL and frequency of angina) and medium-term (significantly improved anxiety, and frequency of angina). These findings on the whole suggest that the programme could be offered to a primary care angina population who are not routinely included within conventional CR. However, there is a need to consider the factors described to affect engagement of the programme; family and work commitments, bad weather, older age, receiving the programme late in angina diagnosis and levels of self-motivation.
    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorSally Singh (Supervisor) & John Powell (Supervisor)

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