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Dietary Education Provision Within a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme in the UK: A Pilot Study Evaluating Nutritional Intakes Alongside Physical Activity Levels

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Chelsea Moore
  • Costas Tsakirides
  • Zoe Rutherford
  • Michelle Swainson
  • Karen Birch
  • Said Ibeggazene
  • Theocharis Ispoglou
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/08/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Cardiac Nursing
Issue number8
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background/aims: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two 30-minute dietary education sessions, within cardiac rehabilitation (CR), as a means to optimise nutrient and energy intakes (EI). A secondary aim was to evaluate patients’ habitual physical activity (PA) levels.
Methods: Thirty patients (males: n = 24, 61.8 ± 11.2 years; females: n = 6, 66.7 ± 8.5 years) attended a six-week early outpatient CR programme in the UK and received two 30-minute dietary education sessions emphasising Mediterranean diet principles. EI and nutrient intakes were measured through completion of three-day food diaries in weeks one and six (before and after the dietary education sessions) to assess the impact of these sessions on nutrient intakes. At the same time-points, a sub-group (n = 13) of patients had their PA levels assessed via accelerometery to assess the impact of the CR programme on PA.
Findings: Estimated energy requirements (EER) at week one (1988 ± 366 kcal.d-1) were not matched by actual EI (1785 ± 561 kcal.d-1) (P = 0.047, d = -0.36). EI reduced to 1655 ± 470 kcal.d-1 at week six (P = 0.66, d = -0.33) whereas EER increased as a function of increased activity (CR sessions). Nutrient intakes remained suboptimal, while no significant increases were observed in healthy fats and fibre, which consist core elements of a Mediterranean diet. Statistically significant increases were not observed in PA however patients decreased sedentary time by 11 ± 12% in week six compared to week one (P = 0.009; d = -0.54).
Conclusion: The present study findings suggest that two 30-minute dietary education sessions did not positively influence EI and nutrient intakes, while habitual PA levels were not signifigantly increased as a result of the CR programme. Future research should explore means of optimising nutrition and habitual PA within UK CR.