Improving Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral, Enrolment, and Completion in Australia: Engage-CR


Why the research project is important

Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a critical element of the treatment of patients with coronary heart disease following heart attack and other cardiac events. Despite this, the proportion of patients who engage with CR in “real world” practice is low. Many barriers to patient engagement exist, and there is considerable variation in the application of CR models of care across Australia. Research is therefore needed to better understand how these barriers and models of care interact in the Australian setting, and their impact on CR engagement.

What the research seeks to do

This study will conduct a novel program of research to understand the impact and outcomes of different evidence-based models of care and strategies for optimising CR referral, enrolment, and completion as well as highlight important contextual considerations for implementing these in Australian practice. The study will achieve this through interactive mapping of existing evidence, qualitative interviews with CR stakeholders, and consensus discussions with key national stakeholders.

What are the research outcomes/ impact

Outcomes from this research will deliver the first context assessment of CR referral, enrolment, and completion in Australia, providing the foundation for understanding variation and gaps in current service provision, implementation priorities, and comparison across different jurisdictions. A taxonomy of care will also be produced to enable future modelling of CR service provision.

Funding Body

Defence Health

Further Details

We are currently recruiting those with clinical, research or policy insights into Australian CR delivery to take part in this research. For information, please contact Bridget Abell at or view the Participant Information Sheet.