Content » Vol 46, Issue 5

Original report

A group-based exercise program did not improve physical activity in patients with chronic heart failure and comorbidity: A randomized controlled trial

Maria Borland, Agneta Rosenkvist, Åsa Cider
NärRehab Physiotherapy Unit, Primary Healt Care, Alingsås, Sweden: E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1794


Objective: To investigate how group-based exercise affects the levels of physical activity, physical fitness and health-
related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with chronic heart failure and comorbidities.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Patients: A total of 48 patients (10 women, 38 men), mean age 71 years (standard deviation 8 years), ejection fraction 27% (standard deviation 10%), and New York Heart Association functional class II–III.
Methods: A bicycle test, 6-min walk test (6MWT) and muscle endurance tests were performed. Physical activity was assessed with a pedometer and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), HRQoL was evaluated with the Short Form-36 (SF-36). Patients were randomized to control or intervention groups. Intervention consisted of an individually designed group-based exercise programme twice a week, for a period of 3 months. Subjects in the control group were asked to continue with their usual lives.
Results: A total of 42 patients completed the study, and 6 dropped-out. Steps/day did not increase significantly after intervention (p = 0.351), but IPAQ score did (p = 0.008). Exercise tolerance (p = 0.001), 6MWT (p = 0.014), shoulder abduction (p = 0.028), heel lift (p < 0.0001) and HRQoL (p = 0.018) improved significantly in the intervention group compared with the control group.
Conclusion: Group-based exercise did not improve the level of physical activity in patients with chronic heart failure and comorbidity; however, physical fitness and HRQoL were significantly improved.

Lay Abstract


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