Personalized and cross-sectorial cardiac rehabilitation after cardiac surgery (TRAPH)

Study design

Explorative qualitative methods using a participatory design and a cross-sectorial survey.

About the project

Cardiac rehabilitation is recommended for patients undergoing open heart surgery. Despite a huge amount of research and guidelines cardiac rehabilitation many eligible patients fail to enrol or complete the existing cardiac rehabilitation programmes. It is unclear why cardiac rehabilitation is underused and if these patients are offered and receiving cardiac rehabilitation that responds to their needs.


  • To investigate reasons for non-attendance and drop-out of rehabilitation after cardiac surgery.
  • To make a problem and need assessment multiple stakeholder perspectives and map current CR pathways across and within sectors.
  • To develop, test, implement and evaluate a flexible personalized cardiac rehabilitation intervention through co-productive processes that help overcome barriers to cardiac rehabilitation.


This project is conducted in a collaboration between the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Aalborg University Hospital, municipalities of the North Region Denmark and Central Denmark Region. The study using PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) in the research process by engaging patient partners and representatives.

Project group

  • Bente Skovsby Toft, BSc PhD, PostDoc, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Ivy Modrau, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Aarhus University Hospital
  • Anne Berggreen, Stud. MD, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University


The project has received funding from the Novo Nordic Foundation (Grant nr. 0083480).


Initial preparations.

Project period

Start: October 2023
End: March 2027


Project leader

Principal investigator & main supervisor