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Changes in cardiorespiratory fitness in cardiac rehabilitation patients: A meta-analysis

Sandercock, Gavin and Hurtado, Valentina and Cardoso, Fernando (2013) 'Changes in cardiorespiratory fitness in cardiac rehabilitation patients: A meta-analysis.' International Journal of Cardiology, 167 (3). pp. 894-902. ISSN 0167-5273

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Background/objectives: Improving patients' cardiorespiratory fitness is an important therapeutic outcome in cardiac rehabilitation. The ability of cardiac rehabilitation to reduce mortality and morbidity has been evidenced through several meta-analyses. Whether cardiac rehabilitation can increase cardiorespiratory fitness and which factors may influence such gains are less well quantified. Methods: We performed detailed literature searches of electronic databases and manually searched papers concerning changes in cardiorespiratory fitness in cardiac rehabilitation patients. We performed random-effects meta-analysis of mean improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness and subgroup analyses to determine potential sources of heterogeneity. Results: Data from 31 studies produced 48 groups (n = 3827) with a mean improvement of 1.55 (95% CI 1.21-1.89) METs, (p < 0.001); equivalent to standardised effect size of ES = 0.97 (95% CI 0.80-1.13). As this value was highly heterogeneous (Q = 852, p < 0.001) we performed subgroup analyses on the effect size data. Gains in fitness were highest in patients receiving > 36 exercise sessions in studies where fitness was assessed using the Naughton Protocol. Patient characteristics associated with the highest fitness gains were age (being young) and sex (being male training in a male-only exercise group). Changes in fitness were unrelated to programme type (comprehensive or exercise-only), duration or study design. There was no association with patient's baseline fitness levels. Conclusion: This is the first meta-analysis of changes in cardiovascular fitness in cardiac rehabilitation patients and shows clinically significant improvements in a large sample of patients from a variety of rehabilitation programmes. This analysis helps describe the characteristics of cardiac rehabilitation programmes which can increase patients' cardiorespiratory fitness. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Cardiovascular Diseases; Treatment Outcome; Exercise Therapy; Cohort Studies; Physical Fitness; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Cardiac Rehabilitation
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 21:20
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 00:57

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