The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes compared with supervised centre-based cardiac rehabilitation on mortality and morbidity, health-related quality of life and modifiable cardiac risk factors in patients with coronary heart disease. Twelve studies (1,938 participants) met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies recruited a lower risk patient following an acute myocardial infarction (MI) and revascularisation. There was no difference in outcomes of home- versus centre-based cardiac rehabilitation in mortality risk ratio (RR) was1.31, cardiac events, exercise capacity standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.11, as well as in modifiable risk factors (systolic blood pressure; diastolic blood pressure; total cholesterol; HDL-cholesterol; LDL-cholesterol) or proportion of smokers at follow up or health-related quality of life. There was no consistent difference in the healthcare costs of the two forms of cardiac rehabilitation.
Home- and centre-based cardiac rehabilitation appear to be equally effective in improving the clinical and health-related quality of life outcomes in acute MI and revascularisation patients. This finding, together with an absence of evidence of difference in healthcare costs between the two approaches, would support the extension of home-based cardiac rehabilitation programmes such as the Heart Manual to give patients a choice in line with their preferences, which may have an impact on uptake of cardiac rehabilitation in the individual case.