Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

McGowan, C.




Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is a secondary prevention program known to improve clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life in individuals with cardiovascular disease, yet participation and completion rates are suboptimal. Additionally, a CR model or models that is/are most efficient for all cohorts of participants has yet to be established. The purpose of this study was to compare models of care from four geographically close CR sites that span an international border through examination of program characteristics and database variables. Participants were also characterized and examined for potential predictors of program completion at one site. The most impactful findings were: 1) sites may want to consider collecting a standardized data battery during programming and implementing participation incentives to enhance program completion; 2) the collection of point/date of referral, travel distance, and availability of exercise equipment at home and gym membership, may want to be considered by all sites; and 3) increasing age and higher education were associated with program completion. This research will provide a foundation for comparisons of the “granular” program and participant details across sites to maximize participant and program success. As such, the expertise from all sites can be leveraged to lead discussions that strategize next steps in developing an ideal CR model or models that not only provide participant benefit, but also cost-efficient programming solutions.