What to do after cardiac rehabilitation programs: the role of the general practitioner in cardiovascular prevention

Margaret Cupples, Neil Heron
  • Neil Heron
    Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom


This paper will review the current role of general practitioners (GPs) in providing cardiovascular prevention for patients after attendance at a cardiac rehabilitation program. Long-term implementation of preventive strategies is needed for continued impact on reducing risk of cardiovascular events and GPs have a major role in providing ongoing continuing medical care. Awareness of patients’ social, cultural and physical circumstances allows the GP to identify individuals’ needs for support in engaging in secondary prevention: relevant brief interventions can promote behaviour change in physical activity, diet and smoking habits, as well as promoting mental health and adherence to optimal medical therapy. Collaborative multidisciplinary working with community and hospital services provides best opportunities for timely referral to specialist expertise to maximise patients’ well-being. 


Secondary prevention; cardiovascular disease; general practitioner; primary care; lifestyle change; risk factor monitoring.

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Submitted: 2016-06-23 13:08:31
Published: 2016-10-14 15:09:25
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Copyright (c) 2016 Margaret Cupples

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