Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a class 1A recommendation and an integrated part of standard treatment for patients with cardiac disease. In Denmark, CR adheres to European guidelines, it is group-based and partly conducted in primary health settings. Despite high evidence for the benefits of CR, it remains underutilized. How to facilitate CR adherence in primary health settings is poorly understood.
This study explores health professional's perspectives on how to facilitate CR adherence for patients with ischaemic heart disease in primary health settings.
Data were collected through focus group discussions. Respondents were health professionals specialized in and working with CR in primary health settings. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Eleven health professionals participated in two focus group discussions. Five themes emerged as facilitators of CR; (1) placing the person at the center, (2) coherent programme, (3) flow of information, (4) contextual factors, and (5) feeling of belonging.
This study illuminates the complexity of facilitating adherence to CR in primary health settings and provides ways in which health professionals may facilitate adherence. Placing the person at the center is pivotal and may be done by adapting CR offers to patients' social context, culture and life circumstances and ensuring a feeling of belonging. The rhetoric related to CR should be positive and throughout the entire course of treatment health professionals should possess a generic and collective approach to and view of CR. Perceiving these elements as potential facilitators is of vital importance and addressing them may facilitate adherence.