This article provides an overview of current recommendations regarding cardiac rehabilitation (CR) after myocardial infarction and its clinical application. Evidence shows that exercise-based CR after cardiac events positively affects the extent of disability and level of quality of life, and has also important beneficial role in modifying morbidity and mortality. Cardiac rehabilitation is an integral component of the care for patients who have undergone acute myocardial infarction, after invasive coronary procedures and those with chronic stable angina. Although in the last four decades physical training has assumed a major role in health care of coronary artery disease patients, cardiac rehabilitation does not consist exclusively of regular exercising. Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation should include the following components: clinical evaluation, optimization of pharmacotherapy, physical training, psychological rehabilitation, evaluation and reduction of coronary disease risk factors, life style modification, and patient education. Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation should be addressed by the designated team (physician, physiotherapist, nurse, psychologist, dietician, social worker) immediately after acute phase of myocardial infarction and should contain individualized programs designed to optimize physical, psychological, social and emotional status. Modern model of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation should be initiated as early as possible, continued for required time, properly staged, and individualized depending on clinical status of the patients. Copyright 2008 Via Medica.
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