Women-Only Cardiac Rehabilitation Delivery Around the World

Karam Turk-Adawi, Marta Supervia, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Anfal Adawi, Masoumeh Sadeghi, Sherry L. Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Women utilise cardiac rehabilitation (CR) significantly less than men. Gender-tailored CR improves adherence and mental health outcomes when compared to traditional programs. This study ascertained the availability of women-only (W-O) CR classes globally. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, an online survey was administered to CR programs globally, assessing delivery of W-O classes, among other program characteristics. Univariate tests were performed to compare provision of W-O CR by program characteristics. Results: Data were collected in 93/111 countries with CR (83.8% country response rate); 1,082 surveys (32.1% program response rate) were initiated. Globally, 38 (40.9%; range 1.2–100% of programs/country) countries and 110 (11.8%) programs offered W-O CR. Women-Only CR was offered in 55 (7.4%) programs in high-income countries, versus 55 (16.4%) programs in low- and middle-income countries (p<0.001); it was offered most commonly in the Eastern Mediterranean region (n=5, 55.6%; p=0.22). Programs that offered W-O CR were more often located in an academic or tertiary facility, served more patients/year, offered more components, treated more patients/session, offered alternative forms of exercise, had more staff (including cardiologists, dietitians, and administrative assistants, but not mental health care professionals), and perceived space and human resources to be less of a barrier to delivery than programs not offering W-O CR (all p<0.05). Conclusion: Women-Only CR was not commonly offered. Only larger, well-resourced programs seem to have the capacity to offer it, so expanding delivery may require exploiting low-cost, less human resource-intensive approaches such as online peer support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Women
  • Women only cardiac rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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