Background: Physiological benefits of exercise training for heart failure (HF) patients have been demonstrated, however little is known about the effects of training on the symptoms of fatigue and dyspnea. Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine HF symptoms of fatigue and dyspnea in response to a 24-week exercise training intervention. Methods: This pilot study was a randomized, two-group repeated measures design. Fifteen subjects in the intervention group completed a combination of aerobic and resistance training three times per week in a standard cardiac rehabilitation setting. The control group consisted of 6 subjects who were instructed not to begin any formal exercise program during the 24-week intervention. Results: Subjects (19 males and 2 females) had a mean age of 66.2 ± 10.2 years and mean ejection fraction (EF) of 28.4 ± 7.4%. Non-parametric Friedman Analysis of Variance by Ranks showed the exercise group significantly decreased sensory fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale) over time (χ2 = 6.49, p = .04) while the control group did not change (χ2 = 0.93, p = .63). Dyspnea showed a non-significant decrease over time for the exercise group (χ2 = 4.16, p = .13) while the control group showed a decrease from baseline to 12 weeks but an increase to above baseline values by week 24 (χ2 = 0.18, p = .91). Conclusion: These results provide support for the beneficial effects of exercise training on symptoms of fatigue and dyspnea in HF patients. Larger studies to evaluate symptom response to exercise are needed.
- Exercise training
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing