The added value of a behavioural medicine intervention, ECRA

The role of a behavioural medicine intervention in physiotherapy for the effects of rehabilitation outcomes in exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation - ECRA.

In several areas the addition of behavioural medicine interventions has been shown to be associated with improved rehabilitation outcomes. Strategies to increase adherence to exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and how to maintain healthy lifestyles over time in the context of cardiac rehabilitation is still limited, however, and further research is needed.

In ECRA, patients are randomized to a behavioural medicine intervention in physiotherapy in addition to routine exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation, or to routine care alone for four months. The behaviour change techniques used include specific goal-setting, re-evaluation of the goals, self-monitoring and feedback. Outcome assessment is conducted at baseline, 4 and 12 months, and includes physiological and psychological variables.

By promoting adherence to exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation, the effectiveness of this treatment is likely to be increased and this would in turn positively affect cardiovascular rehospitalization and mortality.


  • Swedish Heart and Lung Association
  • Swedish Society of Medical Research
  • Grants from Region Östergötland