Cardiovascular disease is one of the main causes of morbidity and sick leave in Belgium, imposing a great socio-economic burden on the contemporary healthcare system and society. Cardiac rehabilitation is an evidence-based treatment strategy that not only improves the cardiac patients' health state but also holds promise so as to facilitate vocational reintegration in the society. This position paper was developed and endorsed by the Belgian Working Group of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. It provides an overview of the currently available Belgian data with regard to the role of cardiac rehabilitation in return to work after an initial cardiac event. It identifies the relevant barriers and facilitators of vocational integration of cardiac patients and summarises the contemporary Belgian legal and medical framework in this regard. Cardiac rehabilitation remains a primordial component of the post-acute event management of the cardiac patient, facilitating vocational reintegrating and thereby decreasing the pressure on social security. Despite the availability of a relevant legislative framework, there is a need for well-defined algorithms to assess readiness for return to work that can be used in daily clinical practice.
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© 2019 Belgian Society of Cardiology.
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.