Effect of intradialytic resistance band exercise on physical function in patients on maintenance hemodialysis: a pilot study.J Ren Nutr. 2011 Jan; 21(1):61-5.JR
Although physical activity is recommended in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD), randomized controlled trials testing the effects of exercise in this population have given conflicting results. In general, aerobic exercises mostly failed to produce improvements in physical function, whereas resistance exercises, although less studied, appeared to be more promising. The use of sophisticated materials such as leg press and free weights may preclude widespread application of resistance training in patients on MHD. Simple and cheap elastic bands may thus be an attractive alternative. We tested the feasibility of a supervised intradialytic resistance band exercise training program, and its effects on physical function, in patients on MHD. A total of 11 unselected adult patients on MHD from our center, aged 70 ± 10.7 (mean ± standard deviation) years, including 8 men and 3 women, accepted to follow the program under the supervision of qualified physiotherapists. Thirty-six exercise sessions of moderate intensity (twice a week, mean duration 40 minutes each, during 4.5 to 6 months), mainly involving leg muscles against an elastic resistance, were performed. The exercise program was well tolerated and all patients completed it. Statistically significant improvements were observed in the following tests: Tinetti test, 23.9 ± 3.9 points before versus 25.7 ± 3.5 points after the program (P = .022); the Timed Up and Go test, 12.1 ± 6.6 versus 10 ± 5.8 seconds (P = .0156). Improvements in the 6-minute walk distance and in the one-leg balance tests just failed to reach statistical significance. In this single-center pilot study, an intradialytic resistance band exercise program was feasible, well tolerated, and showed encouraging results on physical function.