Effects of a comprehensive rehabilitation program on quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2003 Fall;18(4):169-76. doi: 10.1111/j.0889-7204.2003.03013.x.


This evaluation was performed to assess the effects of a new, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation program on generic and disease-specific quality of life related to exercise tolerance in stable chronic heart failure patients. Fifty-one patients (aged 59+/-11 years; 84% men) were treated for 12 weeks. Patients underwent optimized drug treatment, exercise training, and counseling and education. At baseline and at the end of the program, functional status, exercise capacity, and quality of life were assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey and the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. Left ventricular ejection fraction and New York Heart Association functional class, as well as measures of physical fitness and walking distance covered in 6 minutes, improved significantly (by 11%-20% and by 58% on average, respectively). Physical functioning (effect size, 0.38; p<0.0001), role functioning (effect size, 0.17; p<0.05), and mental component score (effect size, 0.47; p<0.0001) on the questionnaire improved significantly. Disease-specific quality of life improved in sum score (effect size, 0.24; p<0.0001) and physical component score (effect size, 0.35; p<0.0001). The latter was inversely correlated to improvement in peak power output (r= -0.31; p<0.05). In patients with stable chronic heart failure, significant improvements in both generic and disease-specific quality of life related to improved exercise tolerance can be achieved within 12 weeks of comprehensive rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Counseling*
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / nursing*
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Research Design