Effects of Exercise Training versus Attention on Plasma B-type Natriuretic Peptide, 6-Minute Walk Test and Quality of Life in Individuals with Heart Failure

Joseph F Norman, Bunny J Pozehl, Kathleen A Duncan, Melody A Hertzog, Steven K Krueger
Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal 2012, 23 (4): 19-25

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare an Exercise Training Group (EX) with an Attention-Control Group (AT-C) to more specifically assess the impact of exercise training on individuals with heart failure (HF).

METHODS: Forty-two individuals with HF were randomized to AT-C or EX that met with the same frequency and format of investigator interaction. Baseline, 12- and 24-week measurements of B-type naturetic peptide (BNP), 6-minute walk test (6-MWT), and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) were obtained.

RESULTS: BNP tended to increase in the AT-C while remaining stable in the EX over time. A clinically significant increase in 6-MWT was demonstrated by the EX but not the AT-C. The EX achieved a clinically significant change on the KCCQ at 12 weeks, with further improvement by 24 weeks, while the AT-C demonstrated a clinically significant change at 24 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: Attention alone was inadequate to positively impact BNP levels or 6-MWT distances, but did have a positive impact on quality of life after 24 weeks. Although exercise offers enhanced benefits, individuals with HF unable to participate in an exercise program may still gain quality of life benefits from participation in a peer-support group that discusses topics pertinent to HF.

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