Nevin Manimala Statistics

Impact of COVID-19’s on Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Programs in Brazil: An Online Survey-Based Cross-Sectional Study

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2023 Mar 10;120(3):e20220135. doi: 10.36660/abc.20220135. eCollection 2023.


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) programs in Brazil.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics of CR programs in Brazil, the impacts of the first epidemiological wave of COVID-19 (first 60 days) on the programs and present the initiatives used to overcome the impacts.

METHOD: This cross-sectional and retrospective study utilized a specific online survey. Participants were coordinators of CR programs. Variables were presented by Brazilian geographic region and as the following categories: demographic, clinical and operational characteristics. The significance level for statistical analysis was set at 5%.

RESULTS: Fifty-nine CR programs were responsible for 5,349 patients, of which only 1,817 were post-acute cardiovascular events, which corresponded to 1.99% of hospitalized patients in the month prior to the survey (n=91,231). The greatest impact was the suspension of on-site activities, which occurred similarly in areas with the highest and the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the period. Forty-five programs (75%) were shortly interrupted, while three (5%) were ended. All 42 programs that already used remote rehabilitation strategies noticed a substantial increase in activities, based primarily on the use of media and video calling. Only three (5%) considered safe to see patients during the first 60 days.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a reduction in the number of CR programs with the COVID-19 pandemic. Telerehabilitation activities increased during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this was not enough to overcome the reduction in CR program activities across Brazil.

PMID:36921154 | DOI:10.36660/abc.20220135

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala