BACKGROUND: Health care services effort to provide alternative cardiac rehabilitation (CR) models to serve patients according to their preferences and needs. So, the present study aimed to assess and compare the effects of hospital-based and hybrid CR programs on chest pain intensity and discomfort in cardiac surgery patients. METHODS: In this prospective study, 110 cardiac surgery patients were invited to the CR department of a hospital in the western part of Iran between March and July 2016. Patients were divided into two groups: hospital-based and hybrid CR. The hospital-based program included 26 sessions, and the hybrid program included 10 training sessions and exercise. The Brief Pain Inventory and Pain Discomfort Scale were used as research instrument, and data were analyzed using the paired t-test and ANCOVA. RESULTS: The results indicated that both hospital-based and hybrid CR are effective in reducing the chest pain intensity and discomfort of cardiac surgery patients (P < 0.05). In addition, the comparison of scores before and after treatment using ANCOVA shows that no significant differences were observed between the two programs (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Traditional hospital-based CR delivery is still the first choice for treatment in developing countries. However, hybrid CR is as effective as a hospital-based program in reducing pain components and it includes only 38% of the total cost in comparison to hospital-based delivery. So, we recommend using hybrid CR according with the recommendations of American Heart Association about using CR for the management of angina symptoms.