Patient Perception of How Smoking Status Influences Cardiac Rehabilitation Attendance After an Acute Cardiac Hospitalization

Author Department

Cardiology; Healthcare Quality; Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date




Patients hospitalized with a cardiac condition are less likely to attend cardiac rehabilitation (CR) if they are smokers despite the benefits of doing so. The present study sought to investigate how, if at all, a patient's decision to attend CR was influenced by his or her tobacco use post-discharge.


We surveyed smokers during their hospitalization for a cardiac condition. Four to 8 wk after discharge, a follow-up survey assessed self-reported CR attendance, smoking cessation (SC), and patient opinion of how their smoking status influenced CR attendance.


Of the 81 patients who completed the baseline survey (68% male, 57 ± 10 y), 62 (77%) completed the follow-up survey. Consistent with prior findings, there was a substantial correlation between SC and CR attendance (OR: 16.0, P < .001) with 36 (44%) patients attending CR overall and 38 (47%) abstaining from smoking. Patients reported a wide variety of reasons for not attending CR, but most patients (n = 39, 63%) reported that their smoking status did not influence their decision to attend CR. However, 5 patients (8%) reported attending CR because they successfully quit smoking, and 5 (8%) attended CR anticipating support with SC.


A strong relationship exists between SC and CR attendance following a cardiac hospitalization; however, most patients did not feel that their smoking status was a factor in their decision to attend CR. Regardless of the reason, it appears that success with one behavior may be related to the other and that both SC and CR attendance should be encouraged.