Clinical Relevance of a Balance Training Program on Liver Transplant Patients. A Randomized Controlled Trial

Transplantation. 2019 May;103(5):965-972. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000002415.


Background: Although some studies have reported significant improvements in physical function and strength after training programs on liver transplant (LT) recipients, there is a lack of knowledge on how it affects in static and dynamic balance, being an important part of these participants' tasks development. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of a 6-month multicomponent circuit training program on static and dynamic balance in LT participants.

Methods: Fifty-four participants were randomized at 6 months after LT into 2 groups: exercise (EXER) group and control (CONTROL) group, with repeat testing at 6 (baseline) and 12 months after LT. The intervention consisted of a multicomponent training, including balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility training, with exercises arranged in a circuit setup and a moderate intensity with high perceived exertion. Training sessions were performed in the hospital facilities with qualified trainers. To determine differences over time between EXER and CONTROL, mixed-regression linear models with subject variable as random factor and variables of treatment duration, type, and interaction as predictors were used.

Results: The EXER group showed significant differences (P < 0.05) compared with CONTROL in all variables of static and dynamic balance, hip strength (49% versus 13%), agility (-16% versus -1%), and flexibility (78% versus -26%). Adherence to the intervention was 94%, and 80% of the participants continued voluntarily training after the 6 months.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that a multicomponent circuit training program at a moderate intensity with high perceived exertion could reduce the probability of injuries because it improves balance on LT recipients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome