'I don't know why they don't come': Barriers to participation in cardiac rehabilitation

Michelle L. DiGiacomo, Sandra C. Thompson, Julie S. Smith, Kate P. Taylor, Lynette A. Dimer, Mohammed A. Ali, Marianne M. Wood, Timothy G. Leahy, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives. To describe health professionals' perceptions of Aboriginal people's access to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) services and the role of institutional barriers in implementing the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines Strengthening Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Design. Qualitative study. Setting. Metropolitan and rural tertiary and community-based public CR services and Aboriginal health services in WA. Participants. Thirty-eight health professionals working in the CR setting. Method. Semistructured interviews were undertaken with 28 health professionals at public CR services and 10 health professionals from Aboriginal Medical Services in WA. The participants represented 17 services (10 rural, 7 metropolitan) listed in the WA Directory of CR services. Results. Emergent themes included (1) a lack of awareness of Aboriginal CR patients' needs; (2) needs related to cultural awareness training for health professionals; and (3) Aboriginal health staff facilitate access for Aboriginal patients. Conclusions. Understanding the institutional barriers to Aboriginal participation in CR is necessary to recommend viable solutions. Promoting cultural awareness training, recruiting Aboriginal health workers and monitoring participation rates are important in improving health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-457
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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