The Discrepancy in Cardiac Rehabilitation Referrals for Patients of Different Minority Backgrounds.

Date of Award

Summer 6-30-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Exercise Science



First Advisor

Amanda Kelley

Second Advisor

Brenda Davis


Patients who have attended a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program have been shown to better manage their cardiovascular issues and improve their overall quality of life. Although there are known benefits of CR, it seems that CR referrals are only being given to some patients with common exclusions of those from a minority background such as race, gender, education level and lower socioeconomic status. This gap in the current healthcare system is showing that these patients are being excluded from the physician side. Hospitals in the Twin Cities area may perform better with the survey and questionaries since their main demographic of patients in the area is minority patients. The methodology used in this study is using a physician focused survey and several qualitative questions via Zoom interviews to gather information from current cardiologists practicing in the Twin Cities area. Utilizing current practicing cardiologists who are employed at United Hospital, interviewing these physicians will help to identify the barriers that patients are facing when it comes to CR referrals, their thoughts on CR benefits, the referral process and quality of the program. The results from this study concluded that even from a physician’s point of view, there are limitations and barriers for their patients participating in CR. Each participant stated the importance of their patients participating in CR in order to improve their overall health. Although improvements can be made to the referral system to better serve the physicians that are ordering CR for their cardiology patients.

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