Cognitive screening and rehabilitation after cardiac arrest: only a few hurdles to take

Janine A. van Til*, Martin E.W. Hemels, Jeannette Hofmeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Dutch and European guidelines recommend systematic screening for cognitive and emotional impairments in cardiac arrest survivors. We aimed to clarify opinions on cognitive screening and rehabilitation, identify barriers and facilitators for implementation in the Netherlands, and arrive at recommendations in this field. We conducted 22 semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders using the Tailored Implementation in Chronic Diseases checklist. There is broad-based acknowledgement of the relevance of cognitive impairment and a positive attitude regarding early cognitive screening among health professionals and patients. Barriers to implementation include a lack of practical recommendations on how, where and when to screen, insufficient knowledge of cognitive consequences of cardiac arrest, insufficient collaboration and knowledge sharing among different specialties within hospitals, insufficient resources, and insufficient evidence of the effectiveness of screening and therapy to justify financial compensation. Most of the identified barriers to implementation are solvable: national guidelines need practical recommendations and knowledge gaps among healthcare workers can be bridged by in-hospital collaboration. Fulfilling these requirements should be sufficient for the implementation of simple screening and tailored advice. More extensive cognitive rehabilitation therapy needs stronger evidence of efficacy in order to warrant stronger guideline recommendations and financial reimbursement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
JournalNetherlands heart journal
Early online date12 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Guidelines
  • Implementation
  • Screening


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