The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) makes CR an ideal place to offer interventions to address metabolic syndrome–related risk. There is a lack of research related to the metabolic syndrome practices in CR. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to describe practices to assess CR patients for metabolic syndrome, interventions specific to metabolic syndrome, and staff knowledge and beliefs related to metabolic syndrome.
This was a cross-sectional study of CR providers in Ohio (n = 94). Program practices and interventions and staff knowledge and beliefs were assessed and stratified on the program use of case management, program certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and staff profession.
At CR entry, 26% of the programs assessed patients for the metabolic syndrome and 8% had written guidelines for metabolic syndrome. Less than half of the staff (47%) was able to name 3 or more risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Programs using case management were more likely to identify metabolic syndrome (P < .001), measure waist circumference (P < .001), order a new lipid profile (P = .04) at program entry, and have written guidelines for managing metabolic syndrome (P = .01) than programs not using case management. No differences were observed in stratified analyses for the program certification or staff profession.
The majority of CR programs do not assess patients for metabolic syndrome or have written guidelines for the metabolic syndrome. Opportunities exist for better management of metabolic syndrome in CR.