MONDAY, April 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hybrid and virtual cardiac rehabilitation are associated with similar improvements in functional capacity as in-person cardiac rehabilitation, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.

Smitha Ganeshan, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues compared in-person (37 patients) and hybrid/virtual cardiac rehabilitation (58 patients) based on change in performance on the six-minute walk test (6MWT).

The researchers found that improvement in the 6MWT was similar in hybrid and virtual compared with in-person cardiac rehabilitation. Similar improvements in blood pressure control and anxiety were seen for hybrid and virtual patients. Less improvement in depression symptoms was seen for virtual patients. No statistically significant changes were seen for waist-to-hip ratio or cardiac self-efficacy.

“Our primary objectives were to compare the association of in-person, hybrid, and virtual cardiac rehabilitation with functional changes in patients between enrollment in the program through completion,” coauthor Alexis Beatty, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, said in a statement. “Not only did we find similar outcomes for virtual and hybrid cardiac rehabilitation as in-person cardiac rehabilitation, but we also found that virtual and hybrid cardiac rehabilitation have the potential to expand availability without compromising outcomes.”

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