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date: 31 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the psychological impact of the acute onset of coronary heart disease before addressing how cardiac rehabilitation may moderate any negative consequences of such an event. The chapter identifies three key goals for cardiac rehabilitation programs: helping people adjust physically and emotionally to their illness, symptom control, and changing behaviors that maintain or increase risk for cardiac disease. The chapter considers the comparative impact of educational and “behavioral interventions” based on Bandura's social cognitive theory, live versus distance approaches, interventions targeting those most in need, and more specific interventions on each of these goals. It concludes that “behavioral interventions” are central to maximizing the impact of rehabilitation; that distance interventions appear to be as effective as clinic-based interventions, but no more cost-effective; and that the next generation of research may best focus on who benefits most from each type of intervention.

Keywords: Cardiac rehabilitation, risk, emotion, behavior, disease progression

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