Background: Standard cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is insufficient to help patients achieve an active lifestyle. The effects of two advanced and extended behavioral CR interventions on physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) were assessed.
Methods: In total, 731 patients with ACS were randomized to 1) 3 months of standard CR (CR-only); 2) 3 months of standard CR with three pedometer-based, face-to-face PA group counseling sessions followed by 9 months of aftercare with three general lifestyle, face-to-face group counseling sessions (CR + F); or 3) 3 months of standard CR, followed by 9 months of aftercare with five to six general lifestyle, telephonic counseling sessions (CR + T). An accelerometer recorded PA and SB at randomization, 3 months, 12 months, and 18 months.
Results: The CR + F group did not improve their moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA) or SB time compared to CR-only (between-group difference = 0.24% MVPA, P = 0.349; and 0.39% SB, P = 0.529). However, step count (between-group difference = 513 steps/day, P = 0.021) and time in prolonged MVPA (OR = 2.14, P = 0.054) improved at 3 months as compared to CR-only. The improvement in prolonged MVPA was maintained at 18 months (OR = 1.91, P = 0.033). The CR + T group did not improve PA or SB compared to CR-only.
Conclusions: Adding three pedometer-based, face-to-face group PA counseling sessions to standard CR increased daily step count and time in prolonged MVPA. The latter persisted at 18 months. A telephonic after-care program did not improve PA or SB. Although after-care should be optimized to improve long-term adherence, face-to-face group counseling with objective PA feedback should be added to standard CR.

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International Journal of Cardiology
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Ter Hoeve, N., Sunamura, M., Stam, H., Boersma, E., Geleijnse, M., van Domburg, R., & van den Berg-Emons, R. (2018). Effects of two behavioral cardiac rehabilitation interventions on physical activity. International Journal of Cardiology, 255, 221–228. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.12.015