Effects of short-term exercise training on symptoms and quality of life in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation.Int J Cardiol. 2007 Mar 02; 116(1):86-92.IJ
A randomised study was conducted to determine if short-term exercise training in patients with chronic atrial fibrillation (AF) might improve symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).
AF patients (64+/-7 years) were randomised to exercise training (n=15) or a 2-month control period (n=15) followed by an exercise training program (ETP). The ETP consisted of 24 training sessions with aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening. A cycle ergometer test, with recording of perceived exertion on the Borg scale, was performed. The participants completed HRQoL questionnaires, the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) and Symptom and Severity Checklist (SSCL), before and after training. Because there were no changes after two months in the control group, pooled data for all patients are presented before and after training.
Four of the eight SF-36 scales improved significantly (p<0.05) following training: physical functioning (82+/-14 pre-ETP, 86+/-10 post-ETP), bodily pain (82+/-17 pre-ETP, 92+/-14 post-ETP), vitality (61+/-14 pre-ETP, 68+/-13 post-ETP) and role-emotional (85+/-28 pre-ETP, 94+/-20 post-ETP). The SF-36 physical component summary scale also increased from 49+/-6 pre-ETP to 52+/-6 post-ETP (p<0.05). Significant improvements were also observed for summary and specific symptom scores of the SSCL. Exercise capacity improved by 41+/-20% and perceived exertion during testing by 1.4 points after training (p<0.05 for both).
The study demonstrates a significant improvement in HRQoL, symptoms during exercise testing and exercise capacity after a short-term exercise training program in patients with chronic AF.