Exercise Prescription in Cardiac Rehabilitation

runnerCardiac Rehabilitation (CR) is an effective exercise-based lifestyle therapy for patients with cardiac disease. There are two common methods of exercise prescription, an effort based exercise prescription and target heart rate based exercise prescription. The purpose of this research study is to identify the best way to exercise in cardiac rehabilitation. There are three main goals of this study. First, the investigators want to know if an exercise test should be done near the beginning of cardiac rehabilitation. Second, the investigators want to understand what type of exercises should be recommend to patients. Third, the investigators want to understand if a personal heart rate monitor will improve adherence to a target heart rate for exercise. As part of this study, some patients will undergo an exercise stress test on a treadmill to determine a target heart rate. These patients will be given a heart rate goal to use when they exercise. Some patients will be given a personal heart rate monitor to improve adherence.


This research study is led by Dr. Quinn Pack, 413-794-0189.

Participation details:

June 17, 2019
Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut St, Springfield, MA

Ages Eligible for Study: 18 Years to 100 Years (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers: No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients who are referred with an eligible diagnosis to CR
  • Patients with myocardial infarction, percutaneous coronary intervention, or bypass surgery

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with pacemakers, as the polar heart rate monitor interferes with pacing lines on the telemetry system
  • Stable angina, as chest pain could become a limiting factor as exercise training progresses, rather than using target heart rates
  • Patients with heart transplant or left-ventricular assist device, as heart rates can be inaccurate and difficult to measure
  • Major orthopedic limitations to exercise, such as history of amputation or exercise-limiting joint pain, or inability to walk on a treadmill, because all patients will have to complete a stress test on a treadmill and objective data collected during CR will be recorded during treadmill exercise.
Interventional (Clinical Trial), Randomized