Optimum delivery of cardiac rehabilitation is not well defined. A retrospective analysis was conducted to determine the short-term effectiveness of once-weekly compared to twice-weekly supervised cardiac rehabilitation. The analysis included 206 post-myocardial infarction patients who participated in either once- or twice-weekly supervised exercise sessions for six weeks. The primary outcome measure was the incremental shuttle walking test (ISWT). Secondary measures of health-related quality of life were also completed. Once-weekly supervised rehabilitation was completed by 85 patients (65 men), mean (SD) age 61.89 (10.27) years, and twice-weekly supervised rehabilitation was completed by 121 (94 men) mean (SD) age of 59.24 (10.03) years. Both groups demonstrated a statistically significant increase in ISWT distance post-rehabilitation, with mean increases of 100.71 metres (p<0.001) and 88.44 metres (p<0.001) for the once- and twice-weekly groups respectively. A reduction in hospital anxiety and depression scores and improvements in the MacNew quality of life questionnaire was also found. On comparing the magnitude of these changes, there was no significant difference between the two groups.
There is no evidence of additional short-term benefit, in terms of cardiovascular fitness and improvement in health-related quality of life measures, for patients attending twice-weekly supervised cardiac rehabilitation compared to once-weekly.