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Bowl of salad

Mediterranean diet and resistance exercise for cardiac rehabilitation

After a cardiac event such as a heart attack, people attend cardiac rehabilitation services to help stop the disease from getting worse.  Some people with heart disease may not look overweight but may have lower levels of muscle and higher levels of fat which may put them at greater risk of having another heart attack.

The PRiME research group at Liverpool John Moores University wanted to test the feasibility and acceptability of a high-protein Mediterranean-style diet and resistance exercise program to help increase muscle mass in cardiac rehabilitation patients.

Richie Kirwan (PhD researcher) said:

“We needed to recruit people with a history of heart disease and we approached Research for the Future to contact relevant volunteers from their database.  We quickly received more than 40 responses to our initial questionnaire, including a number of people who wanted to participate in follow-up questionnaires related to different aspects of the research.  We also managed to recruit seven people to take part in structured telephone interviews, providing very valuable qualitative data to support our research.  We learned which aspects of our proposed protocol were acceptable and those which needed further development and why.  All of this information is vital for improving intervention protocols and for patient/participant involvement aspects of research grant applications.

Besides the data we gathered, our interaction with Research for the Future was wonderful. They were not only attentive to our needs but also very giving of their time and experience, helping us add a more human touch to our questionnaires.  This is an aspect that researchers can often neglect.  Research for the Future regularly checked in with us to enquire about the progress of our recruitment and offered suggestions for how to maximize our responses.  Without them, our research simply would not have been possible and I look forward to working with them again in the future.”