The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is designed to help patients who already have coronary heart disease (angina, heart attack, bypass graft surgery or angioplasty) or other forms of heart disease.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
25 New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114
Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is designed to help patients who already have coronary heart disease (angina, heart attack, bypass graft surgery or angioplasty) or other forms of heart disease. A multidisciplinary team made up of cardiologists, cardiac nurses, a psychiatrist, nutritionist and exercise specialists plan treatments and strategies to prevent cardiac complications and future recurrence.
Specialists within this program aim to:
- Increase a patient’s aerobic exercise capacity
- Reduce cholesterol levels through dietary changes
- Reduce or control other heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, diabetes, stress and obesity
A nurse experienced in cardiac care and exercise physiology oversees each patient’s treatment plan. He or she is able to provide expertise in complex cardiac patient case management including cholesterol and dietary management, smoking cessation and behavior/lifestyle modification.
An initial evaluation is conducted by a cardiologist and nurse. This comprehensive evaluation and risk assessment includes a physical exam, exercise tolerance test, nutrition evaluation, lab testing and psychosocial assessment. Using this information, the nurse in collaboration with the team, designs an effective program to meet each patient’s individual needs and goals.
Following the initial assessment, a personalized exercise regimen is designed for each patient. Patients attend group aerobic exercise sessions one to three times a week at the center’s on site facility. Depending on a patient’s activity level and goals, exercise therapy might include stationary cycling, walking or jogging, arc trainer and strength training. Stretching exercises also are incorporated into each session.
A nutritionist evaluates each patient and develops a personal and closely monitored dietary plan. Patients may attend a five-session educational series on heart healthy eating. Topics include label reading, food shopping, eating out, menu planning and weight management.
Heart disease prevention and management seminars are available to patients. This six-part series addresses coronary artery disease including risk factors and treatment, symptom recognition and management, cardiac medications, principles of safe and effective aerobic exercise and stress management.
Group and individual relaxation sessions are offered several times per week. During these sessions patients learn techniques to help manage stress. Instruction in a variety of relaxation forms including breathing exercises, tai-chi, yoga, visual imagery and meditation is available.
Optional Consultation With a Behavioral Health Expert
In addition to the weekly relaxation sessions, a patient may also choose to see the team’s consulting psychiatrist. The psychiatrist can provide an overall psychological and behavioral assessment to address more complex issues such as anxiety, depression or Type A behavior and prescribe other appropriate treatments.
Weekly Consultation With a Nurse Case Manager
Patients meet with their nurse case managers weekly to review their individual progress toward established heart health goals, including the home exercise plan. The home exercise plan includes safe heart-rate parameters and details the type, duration, frequency and other necessary components of an exercise plan.
The exit interview summarizes each patient’s participation and goal achievement. It also solidifies future plans for continued lifestyle change and maintenance. Staff also collects information to examine and measure outcomes in the program. A summary report of this interview is sent to their physician(s). Participants are also asked to complete an anonymous program evaluation.
After program completion patients may choose to continue exercising twice a week at the center through the self pay Maintenance Program. A staff member checks each patient’s blood pressure, pulse and weight prior to exercise. In collaboration with the staff, the patient adjusts their own exercise workload. Staff is available to field other questions or concerns that may arise. Patients often choose this option to help them stay on track toward achieving personal heart health goals.
Call the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access nurse at 866-MGH-8910
Our approach to patient care brings together a team of cardiac specialists who create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.