Developing a group-based virtual education curriculum for cardiac rehabilitation and the associated toolkit to support implementation in Canada and across the globe

Published:September 06, 2022DOI:


      • A 4-phase approach was used to develop the new virtual education curriculum for CR.
      • A toolkit that included patient-centered and facilitator manuals was created.
      • The level of user engagement and acceptability with the curriculum was acceptable.



      To overcome the many barriers faced by the long-lasting pandemic, the development of new ways to deliver cardiac rehabilitation (CR)’s components was needed.


      This mixed-methods study describes the process to create a virtual education curriculum and assess the level of user engagement and acceptability in CR participants.


      A 4-phase approach was used to develop the new virtual education curriculum for CR and collect feedback regarding patients’ engagement with and acceptability of the curriculum in a convenience sample of 80 CR participants. Data were analyzed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach and mapped to the evidence-based implementation strategies, followed by stakeholder engagement. Considering all information gathered and applying best practices in patient education and curriculum development, a 16-week virtual education curriculum was established.


      Five themes were identified on how the current education could be improved: focus on self-management, emphasize emotional wellbeing, improve facilitation, incorporate existing resources, and improve content flow. The recommendations associated with each theme informed the new curriculum and a tailored implementation plan to support the use of virtual education as part of routine care within the program. A toolkit that included a screening tool for comfort with/access to technology, patient-centered manuals with weekly learning plans, and a facilitator's manual was created. Overall, all recommended weekly education was completed by more than 70% of the participants, with greater acceptability.


      The present study offers an example of a collaborative approach to tailoring strategies for the development of a new group-based virtual education model of CR.



      CR (Cardiac Rehabilitation), CVD (Cardiovascular diseases), REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture), VCR (Virtual Cardiac Rehabilitation)
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