The Effect of Computerized Wobble Board and Core Stabilization Exercises on Balance Performance and Exercise Capacity in Patients With Heart Failure: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2024 Apr 12:S0003-9993(24)00940-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2024.04.003. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To investigate the effects of computerized wobble board exercise training (CWBET) and core stabilization exercise training (CSET) on balance performance, and exercise capacity in patients with heart failure (HF).

Desing: Single-blind randomized controlled prospective study.

Setting: Cardiology department of a local university hospital.

Participants: Fifty-one patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction, whose clinical status and medication had been stable for the previous 3 months, were included (N=51). Nine patients could not complete the follow-up period due to personal reasons. No patient experienced any adverse events during exercise training.

Interventions: Patients were randomized to CWBET, CSET, and control group. CWBET and CSET groups participated in their own exercise programs, 3 days a week for 8 weeks. The control group received no exercise program.

Main outcome measures: All patients were evaluated at baseline and after 8 weeks. Postural stability, static and functional balance, and exercise capacity were evaluated with the Sensamove Balance Test Pro with Miniboard, the one-leg stance test (OLS), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the six-minute walk distance (6MWD), respectively. Core stabilization and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were assessed with OCTOcore app, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire, respectively.

Results: A mixed model repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant group × time interaction effect for static postural stability performance (P<.001, ηp2=0.472), vertical (P<.001, ηp2=0.513), horizontal performance (P<.001, ηp2=0.467), OLS (P<.001, ηp2=0.474), BBS (P<.001, ηp2=0.440) scores, 6MWD (P<.001, ηp2=0.706), and HRQOL. Post hoc analysis revealed CWBET and CSET groups had similar improvements balance performance, exercise capacity, and HRQOL and both groups significantly improved compared with control group (P<.001). Core stabilization was significantly improved only in CSET group after 8 weeks.

Conclusion: CWBET and CSET programs were equally effective and safe for improving balance performance and exercise capacity in patients with HF.

Keywords: Balance rehabilitation; Computerized wobble board exercise; Core stabilization exercise; Exercise capacity; Heart failure; Rehabilitation.