Copenheart UK

Background and Idea

These years we experience a quantum leap in the possibilities for technological treatment of patients with complex heart diseases. Unfortunately the rehabilitation of the same patients is far from this picture. This results in a waist of both human and economic resources. The local heart centres are responsible for the planning of the rehabilitation for complex heart patients but it is not certaint wether this growing group of patients has the same needs as uncomplicated patient groups, and where the rehabilitation should be done.

The CopenHeart project covers the effect of rehabilitation among four groups of complex heart patients:

    - patients treated with a defibrillator (ICD)
    - patients after a heart valve surgery
    - patients ablated for atrial fibrillation
    - patients treated for infectious endocarditis 

The project reveals the effect of rehabilitation among these patient groups according to the physical and psycho-social levels of capability together with the effect on mortality, use of health care and morbidity as well as the economic and organisational consequences of rehabilitation.

CopenHeart combines the expertise from three different partners, and international expert advisory group and a number of collaboration institutions.

Read more about the organisation of project

Purpose of CopenHeart

CopenHeart aims to develop a solid international network of researchers. This network can and will both reinforce existing research within rehabilitation of patients with complex cardiac diseases, and spur new research initiatives within the field. This is done to meet the growing demand for integrated nursing and treatment of chronic heart diseases.  

The purpose of the research is to establish a theoretical base for rehabilitation of patients with complex cardiac diagnosis. CopenHeart works to develop models and interventions for rehabilitation and to test the hypothesis that: Patients with complex cardiac diagnosis can benefit from rehabilitation. The hypothesis is tested though several subprojects focusing on:  
    - patients treated with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
    - patients after a heart valve surgery (VR)
    - patients who have gone through an ablation for atrial fibrillation (RFA)
    - patients treated for infectious endocarditis (IE)
    - complex heart diseases, rehabilitation and sexuality (SD)
    - complex heart diseases, rehabilitation and organisation and economy


The idea to start up the CopenHeart project sprung from the Heart Centre at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen.

The initiators were Ann-Dorthe Zwisler and Selina Kikkenborg Berg.

The project has so far received economic support from the sponsors below. All the economic support will be paid to the Finance Office at Rigshospitalet. None of the responsible investigators at CopenHeart has any economic connection to the applied funders. The CopenHeart staff is paid by the funds.


Det strategiske forskningsråd (Strategic research)
Hjertecenterets forskningsfond, Rigshospitalet (The research foundation of the Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet)
Gentofte Hospitals afd. P.'s forskningsfond (The research foundation of Gentofte Hospital dep. P)
The Novo Nordisk Foundation
Metropolitan University College Copenhagen
Danske Fysioterapeuter (the Association of Danish Physiotherapists)
Statens Institut for Folkesundhed - Syddansk Universitet (National Institute of Public Health - University of Southern Denmark)
Gentofte Hospital
Gentofte Hospital, kardiologisk afdeling (Department of Cardiology)
Rigshospitalet (Copenhagen University Hospital)
Dansk Sygeplejeråd (Danish Nurses’ Organization)
Foreningen Østifterne (The Association Østifterne)
Kong Chr. Den tiendes fondKøbenhavns Universitet (King Christian the 10th’s foundation) 
Faglig Sammenslutning for Kardiovaskulære & Thoraxkirurgiske Sygeplejersker (The Professional Association for Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery Nurses ) 
Lundbeckfonden (The Lundbeck foundation)
Region Sjælland (Region Zealand)