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JFSF Vol 5, No 4, December 2020, p.102-108

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-05-102


Original Article

Are the group-based interventions improving the functional exercise capacity and quality of life of frail subjects with chronic heart failure?

Jannis Vasileios Papathanasiou1,2

  1. Department of Medical Imaging, Allergology and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  2. Department Kinesitherapy of Faculty of Public Health, Medical University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Keywords: Chronic heart failure, Frailty, Group-based, Rehabilitation


Objectives: Frail subjects with chronic heart failure (CHF) often demonstrate limited tolerance of exertion, shortness of breath, and reduced walking capacity resulting poor quality of life (QoL). The aim of this study was to quantify the improvements in functional exercise capacity (FEC) and QoL among Bulgarian frail subjects with CHF performed group-based high-intensity aerobic interval training (HIAIT)/m-Ullevaal intervention and to compare it with moderate intensity continuous training (MICT) protocol. Methods: One hundred and twenty (n=120) frail subjects with mean age of 63.73±6.68 years, in CHF and NYHA class II-IIIB, were enrolled in the single-center, prospective, two-arm randomized controlled clinical trial conducted at the Medical Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine-I-Plovdiv. The baseline assessment included 6-minute walk test (6ΜWT), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), modified Borg Perceived Exertion Scale (mBPES), and Minnesota living with the Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ). Results: The improvement in 6MWT (P<0.001), VO2peak (P<0.001), mBPES (P<0.001), and MLHFQ (P<0.001) observed among frail subjects performed HIAIT/m-Ullevaal intervention was significantly greater compared to the improvement observed in the subjects performed MICT protocol (P<0.001). Conclusions: The group-based HIAIT/m-Ullevaal intervention is a new perspective and challenge for both, Bulgarian cardiac rehabilitation (CR), and frail patients with CHF.