Modern preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation programmes, appropriately adapted to medical and cultural settings, have the potential to effectuate a healthier lifestyle, better risk factor control and adherence with cardioprotective medication.
However, in most European countries, less than 50% of cardiac patients attend these programmes. There is a clear need to improve the situation by increasing the number programmes, facilitating the access to these programmes, and tailoring these programmes to the requirements of the patients.
Moreover, the fixed-term and often centre-based programmes have to be modified based on patients preferences and provide concepts for long-term management. The World Health Organisation underscores in their action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases the importance of improving quality and coverage of secondary prevention and rehabilitation following heart attacks and stroke.