The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan: Cardiac rehabilitation as an exemplar of chronic disease management
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BACKGROUND: In October 2006, federal funding was announced for the development of a national strategy to fight cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Canada. The comprehensive, independent, stakeholder-driven Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP) was delivered to the Minister of Health on February 24, 2009. OBJECTIVES: The mandate of CHHS-AP Theme Working Group (TWG) 6 was to identify the optimal chronic disease management model that incorporated timely access to rehabilitation services and end-of-life planning and care. The purpose of the present paper was to provide an overview of worldwide approaches to CVD and cardiac rehabilitation (CR) strategies and recommendations for CR care in Canada, within the context of the well-known Chronic Care Model (CCM). A separate paper will address end-of-life issues in CVD. METHODS: TWG 6 was composed of content representatives, primary care representatives and patients. Input in the area of Aboriginal and indigenous cardiovascular health was obtained through individual expert consultation. Information germane to the present paper was gathered from international literature and best practice guidelines. The CCM principles were discussed and agreed on by all. Prioritization of recommendations and overall messaging was discussed and decided on within the entire TWG. The full TWG report was presented to the CHHS-AP Steering Committee and was used to inform the recommendations of the CHHS-AP. RESULTS: Specific actionable recommendations for CR are made in accordance with the key principles of the CCM. CONCLUSIONS: The present CR blueprint, as part of the CHHS-AP, will be a first step toward reducing the health care burden of CVD in Canada.
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