Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, according to data from the General Directorate of Health, are the main causes of death and addiction in Portugal. However, the Report of the National Observatory on Respiratory Diseases states that only 2% of patients, with indication for Respiratory Rehabilitation Programs, have access to intervention.

As for patients with Cardiovascular disease, according to Order No. 8597/2017, Portugal has one of the lowest rates of patients included in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Programs in Europe. Only 8% of patients with myocardial infarction participate in these programs, with the average European participation rate exceeding 30%.

As Physiotherapy is the third largest health care profession in Europe, in Portugal there are approximately 11,000 Physiotherapists, only 150-200 have undergone specific academic and postgraduate training in Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiotherapy, with the skills to intervene in Respiratory and Rehabilitation Programs Cardiovascular rehabilitation, according to data related to the 2017 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Interest Group.

In view of this scarcity of human resources, with differentiated skills in the field of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiotherapy, the Santa Maria Health School presents a Post-Graduation in Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy.

This course aims to answer the needs of Physiotherapists in their professional practice, taking into account the international recommendations for teaching Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy, such as the European Respiratory Society and the European Society of Cardiology, in order to train the Physiotherapist for an intervention differentiated in terms of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiotherapy in a hospital, community and home context.

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The course will last 10 months, with 360 contact hours and 60 ECTS.