Development of quality indicators for cardiac rehabilitation in Australia: A modified delphi method and pilot test

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: International guidelines recommend cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, however, it is underutilised and the quality of content and delivery varies widely. Quality indicators (QIs) for CR are used internationally to measure clinical practice performance, but are lacking in the Australian context. This study reports the development of QIs for minimum dataset (MDS) for CR and the results of a pilot test for feasibility and applicability in clinical practice in Australia.
Methods: A modified Delphi method was used to develop initial QIs which involved a consensus approach through a series of face-to-face and teleconference meetings of an expert multidisciplinary panel (n=8), supplemented by an environmental scan of the literature and a multi-site pilot test.
Results: Eight (8) QIs were proposed and sent to CR clinicians (n=250) electronically to rate importance, current data collection status, and feasibility of future collection. The top six of these QIs were selected with an additional two key performance indicators from the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health and two QIs from international registers for a draft MDS. The pilot test in 16 sites (938 patient cases) demonstrated median performance of 93% (IQR 47.1-100%). All 10 QIs were retained and one further QI related to diabetes was added for a final draft MDS.
Conclusions: The MDS of 11 QIs for CR provides an important foundation for collection of data to promote the quality of CR nationally and the opportunity to participate in international benchmarking.


Heart, Lung and Circulation