Home-based exercise increases exercise capacity but not quality of life in people with chronic heart failure: a systematic review

Chien CL, Lee CM, Wu YW, Chen TA, Wu YT.

The authors did a systematic review of the literature to determine if home-based exercise was safe and effective in improving exercise capacity and quality of life in people with chronic heart failure. Studies included for analysis were those with adult participants with chronic heart failure (based on clinical presentation or left ventricular ejection fraction), who participated in home based aerobic exercises with or without resistance exercises.

Of the studies included for analysis the majority of participants had clinically stable (NYHA class II or III) heart failure, with ejection fractions ? 40%. Exercise was at low to moderate intensity 40 – 70% of maximum heart rate. These studies showed a significant benefit to exercise capacity, but did not demonstrate an improved quality of life. Hospitalisations were not adversely affected suggesting that home based exercise is safe.

Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 2008; 54: 87 – 93