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Foreword II

Institutions

There is solid documentation that cardiac rehabilitation can substantially improve the health of the more than 40,000 people who are admitted to Denmark’s hospitals each year with ischaemic heart disease.With the establishment of a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programme in 1999, the Department of Cardiology and Bispebjerg Hospital have implemented a reorganization of rehabilitation from traditional treatment to interprofessional, comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation services that include risk factor management and clinical assessment by a physician, exercise training, patient education, support for changing dietary habits, support for smoking cessation and psychosocial support. The services are based on current evidence and the current national guidelines.

This book describes how the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit organizes their clinical practice, the rationale for the clinical practice and the experience of the cardiac rehabilitation team in implementing and developing the rehabilitation programme. The book focuses on clinical procedures and thus provides several specific action plans and tools that can be used in clinical practice.

We hope that this book can inspire health care personnel who work with people with heart disease so that the systematic, comprehensive rehabilitation services are not merely offered to a few people but may be provided in the future to all of Denmark’s heart patients who need these services.

This book is the result of the hard work, commitment and perseverance of many people for more than three years (Annex 3). The project manager, Ann-Dorthe Olsen Zwisler, has been the prime mover since the project idea arose in May 1997. Her efforts have had invaluable significance for the fact that Bispebjerg Hospital today has well-functioning comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation services.

The following people have read and commented on the manuscript: Joep Perk, Chief Physician, Oskarshamn Hospital, Sweden and former Chair of the Working Group on Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology of the European Society of Cardiology; Carsten Hendriksen, Chief Physician, Unit for Coordination and Rehabilitation, Centre for Internal Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital and Associate Professor, Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen; Birgitte Fogde, Rehabilitation Nurse, Department of Cardiology, Rigshospitalet (National Hospital), Copenhagen; and Ulla Ischiel Træden, freelance medical consultant specializing in dietary intervention. Barbara Ciechanowska has helped in production and reference management.

OThe reorganization project has received financial support from the Pharmacists’ Foundation, research funds of the Copenhagen Hospital Corporation and the Danish Heart Foundation and numerous external and internal foundations (Annex 2). The Ministry of the Interior and Health, Denmark provided financial support for the book.

Lars Iversen
Former consultant, Unit of Preventive Medicine and Health Promotion
Bispebjerg Hospital
Head, Division of Health Services, Quality Assurance and Health Development
Ribe County

Bjarne Sigurd
Chief Physician
Department of Cardiology
Bispebjerg Hospital

Mette Madsen
Deputy Director
National Institute of Public Health


October 2003


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