Aims: Comparison of supervised home-based exercise program as adjunctive therapy, with comprehensive disease management alone, on symptoms and quality of life in congestive heart failure patients.
Methods: 8 women and 11 men were enrolled in a randomized trial. The mean subject age was 69 (±4.44) in the controls and 70 (±4.05) in the intervention group. Baseline and 3, 6, and 12-month evaluations consisted of the Chronic Heart Failure Questionnaire (CHFQ), measuring perceived functional capacity (perceived symptoms of dyspnea, fatigue, and emotional function) and the Yale Physical Activity Survey (YPAS). A stress test was given at baseline and 12 months.
Results and conclusions: The home-based exercise intervention caused a significant change in perceived fatigue between study groups (p=0.015), after 6 months of study participation, with the control group feeling less fatigued than the intervention group. After 12 months of participation, there were no significant differences in perceived functional capacity. Home-based exercise was well tolerated and favorably evaluated. This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility of studying home-based exercise in patients with moderate congestive heart failure. Larger and longer studies will be required to determine treatment effects.
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