Background: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a home-based exercise program on clinical outcomes. Exercise training improves exercise capacity in patients with heart failure (HF) but the long-term effects on clinical outcomes remain unknown.
Methods: We randomized 173 patients with systolic HF to control (n = 87) or home-based exercise (n = 86). The primary end point was a composite of all-cause hospitalizations, emergency department admissions, urgent transplantation, and death at 12 months. Functional performance (as assessed by cardiopulmonary exercise testing and the 6-minute walk test), quality of life, and psychological states were measured at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months.
Results: There was no significant difference between experimental and control groups in the combined clinical end point at 12 months and in functional status, quality of life, or psychological states over 6 months. Patients in the exercise group had a lower incidence of multiple (2 or more) hospitalizations compared with the control group: 12.8% versus 26.6%, respectively (P = .018).
Conclusions: A home-based walking program that incorporated aerobic and resistance exercise did not result in improved clinical outcomes at 1-year follow-up in this cohort of patients with systolic HF. However, the exercise program resulted in reduced rehospitalization rates.