Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a home exercise program using transtelephonic exercise monitoring (TEM).
Design: Prospective, two-group experimental, random assignment.
Setting: Urban centered hospital and surrounding community.
Subjects: Twenty cardiac rehabilitation patients entering a Phase II cardiac rehabilitation program.
Outcome measures: Maximal oxygen consumption, blood pressure, pressure-rate product, workload.
Intervention: Twenty male cardiac patients were randomly enrolled in either a 12-week home- or hospital-based exercise program. Maximal exercise tolerance tests were conducted, before and after exercise intervention, on a computer-driven bicycle ergometer. Subjects trained 3 days per week for 12 weeks on a bicycle ergometer for a maximum of 35 minutes at 75% of maximum heart rate reserve or functional capacity.
Results: Posttraining results showed significant improvement in cardiac function for both groups. Two patients in the TEM group developed new arrhythmias while exercising that required medication changes; however, no medical emergencies arose in either exercise group. Independent Student t test showed no significant difference between groups before or after training.
Conclusions: We conclude that TEM is an effective alternative for the rehabilitation of patients who are unable to return to a hospital-based program.