New Australian and New Zealand position paper published for exercise and physical activity in cardiac rehabilitaton

Leading experts from Australia, New Zealand and Europe in the fields of exercise, physical activity and cardiac rehabilitation have come together to create the first position paper of its kind for the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). This significant paper entitled A clinical guide for assessment and prescription of exercise and physical activity in cardiac rehabilitation. A CSANZ position statement’, was published today in the Heart, Lung and Circulation journal. The paper is intended as a contemporary resource for cardiac rehabilitation providers in Australia and New Zealand, offering them valuable guidance in designing safe and effective exercise and physical activity programs for cardiac patients.


Dr Christian Verdicchio said that he was excited to see this paper eventually come out and be available for Australian and New Zealand clinicians for the very first time as “Europe and the US have traditionally been the leaders in providing clinical guidelines in this area, with nothing available and widely used for us here in Australia and New Zealand to date. Now finally we have some guidance for clinicians especially around aerobic exercise assessments and target training intensities that can be incorporated safely into training programs, which may have not been considered in the past for cardiac patients”.


“I would also like to acknowledge the amazing group of expert authors from all over the world, who got together to create something very special and important for Australia and New Zealand, especially my fellow lead co-authors Assoc Prof Nicole Freene and Dr Matthew Hollings, along with our senior author Prof Julie Redfern for her support and guidance during this process,” he said. The NHMRC-funded SOLVE-CHD program has also been instrumental in bringing the group together and progressing this work.


Fellow lead co-author Assoc Prof Nicole Freene who led the physical activity section of the paper added “It is great to see that the assessment and prescription of physical activity and sedentary behaviour is included in these practical guidelines. All health professionals are well placed to provide general physical activity advice and this position statement should give them further confidence in providing this within and outside of cardiac rehabilitation programs, as well as knowing when to refer to an exercise specialist such as a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist,” she said.


Dr Matthew Hollings also a lead co-author was thrilled by the opportunity to publish this important document targeted directly towards cardiac rehabilitation clinicians. He emphasised that “resistance training recommendations have often been overlooked in similar documents in the past. My hope is that clinicians can feel empowered by this important resource and that resistance training will finally find its place in the standard training programs for cardiac patients”.


The new position paper has been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Exercise and Sports Science Australia and the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association and will be presented by Dr Christian Verdicchio at this week’s CSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide during the Multidisciplinary Rapid Fire Clinical Guidelines Update on the Saturday morning.


Further online seminars are planned to take place with the lead authors shortly in conjunction with the endorsing bodies, to further disseminate this information to cardiac rehabilitation clinicians across the country.


To access and download the paper please click here.

New Australian and New Zealand position paper published for exercise and physical activity in cardiac rehabilitaton