With excitement building for the upcoming AACVPR Annual Meeting on Sept. 18-21 in Portland, OR, we wanted to connect with the speakers of some innovative sessions, in order to learn more about them and the topic.
Jared Sieling connected with Dr. David Schopfer at the National Institutes of Health about his pre-meeting workshop entitled “Home-Based Rehab Symposium: Finding the Best Approach for Your Practice Setting“.
Dr. Schopfer is a non-invasive cardiologist and medical officer at the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and his research is focused on improving delivery of interventions to reduce secondary cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic heart disease.
Jared: Home-based cardiac rehab (HBCR) is a hot topic right now. What is your experience with it?
Dr. Schopfer: For the past 8 years, I have been involved in developing home-based cardiac rehab as a viable alternative for patients who are unable or unwilling to access traditional facility-based cardiac rehab. As a cardiologist I recognized the poor participation in cardiac rehab despite near universal belief that it helps support the lifestyle changes physicians promote. It motivated me to join others in studying the problem and to find new solutions to improve participation.
Jared: The workshop description says HBCR can “address unmet needs of patients.” What are those needs, and are their additional issues that onsite CR programs experience today that HBCR also addresses?
Dr. Schopfer: The unmet needs we speak of in the upcoming workshop are that not all patients are able to go to a facility-based program 3 days every week as is generally recommended. Some patients have travel issues, family obligations, work obligations, or simply do not want to exercise with others. This is an opportunity for home-based programs to fill a gap between the desire for help and support making healthy lifestyle changes and the ability to participate in facility-based programs that is currently expected.
Jared: HBCR has been around for awhile. Why is it becoming more relevant now?
Dr. Schopfer: It has been around in small circles for quite a while internationally, particularly in Canada, the UK, Australia, and other countries. In the United States it is a newer concept except for some single payer systems such as Kaiser for example. I think it is beginning to gain more traction in the US because evidence has been growing and there is increased interest in new models of care for patients that include telemedicine. As the way patients access health care evolves, home-based cardiac rehab is one way we can improve health that is patient-centered.
Jared: We’re obviously excited about the workshop, but why should cardiac rehab staff and administrators attend?
Dr. Schopfer: I hope that attendees will not only learn from a number of experts who have experience getting home-based cardiac rehab programs developed and supported, but it will go into some real details about how to start from ground zero. There will be an opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions with experts in small groups. Attendees should walk away with a clear and actionable plan for how to implement their own home-based program for appropriate patients.
Jared: Well, thank you so much for the insight, Dr. Schopfer, and we are all really looking forward to the workshop on Sept. 18th.
About our guest: Dr. Schopfer is a non-invasive cardiologist and medical officer at the NIH National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences in the Atherothrombosis and Coronary Artery Disease branch. Dr. Schopfer received his B.S. in Biochemisty from Boston College, his M.D. degree from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and his M.A.S. degree in clinical research from the University of California, San Francisco. He trained in Internal Medicine at Boston University Medical Center and Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed by postdoctoral work at the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF. Dr. Schopfer’s research focused on improving delivery of interventions to reduce secondary cardiovascular events in patients with ischemic heart disease.