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Table 4 Study characteristics: Cardiac rehabilitation

From: Reducing wait time from referral to first visit for community outpatient services may contribute to better health outcomes: a systematic review

Author Study quality Setting Participants/ client group. N Study design Waiting times compared Outcome Measures Key Findings
Aamot et al. (2010) [44] Sampleb Measurec Analysisc Cardiac rehab program, Norway Myocardial infarction N = 39 Randomised Control Trial:
2 groups
Short Wait: Immediate
Long wait:
4 week delay
1. Exercise tolerance
2. QOL
Wait time not associated with exercise tolerance.
Fell et al. (2016) [46] Samplec Measurec Analysisc Outpatient cardiac rehab, UK Acute coronary syndrome. N = 32,899 Retrospective cohort study Short wait:
0–28 days
Long wait: 29–365 days
1. Physical activity
2. QOL
3. Exercise tolerance
Shorter wait time associated with improvement in QOL and exercise tolerance.
Wait time not associated with physical activity.
Johnson et al. (2014) [47] Samplec Measureb Analysisc Outpatient cardiac rehab, USA Patients following interventions for cardiac disease. N = 1241 Retrospective cohort study Short wait:
0–15 days
Intermediate wait:
16–30 days
Long wait:
> 30 days
1. Exercise tolerance Shorter wait time associated with improvement in exercise tolerance.
Kehler et al. (2017) [48] Sampleb Measurec Analysisc Outpatient cardiac rehab, Canada Cardiac events. N = 60 Prospective observational cohort study Short wait:
≤ 60 days
Long wait:
>  60 days
1. Physical activity
2. Exercise tolerance
3. Depressive symptoms
Shorter wait time associated with improvement in exercise tolerance.
Wait time not associated with physical activity or depressive symptoms.
Marzolini et al. (2015) [50] Samplec Measureb Analysisc Outpatient cardiac rehab, Canada Post coronary bypass graft surgery. N = 6497 Retrospective cohort study Short wait:
≤60 days
Long wait:
241–365 days
1. Exercise tolerance Shorter wait time associated with improvement in exercise tolerance.
Pack et al. (2013) [43] Sampleb Measurec Analysisc Outpatient cardiac rehab, USA Patients with non-surgical cardiac diagnosis. N = 148 Randomised controlled trial Short wait: ≤10 days Long wait: 35 days 1. Exercise tolerance Wait time not associated with exercise tolerance.
  1. QOL Quality of life
  2. acriteria not met
  3. bcriteria partially met
  4. ccriteria met in full