The purpose of this pilot study was to test the adjunctive effects of a 12-week exercise training intervention vs. standard pharmacologic therapy on quality of life, functional status, and mood in heart failure patients. A randomized, two-group repeated measures design was used to test outcomes at baseline and 12 weeks in 23 subjects (ejection fraction=40%, standard pharmacologic therapy [diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors,βblockers, and digoxin] and no change in medical therapy for 30 days). The exercise group had significantly higher adjusted means on the role physical, role emotional, and mental functioning subscales of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey compared with the control group.
Confusion/bewilderment (Profile of Mood States subscale) adjusted mean scores were significantly lower for the exercise group, indicating better mood compared with the control group. Exercise training provided adjunctive benefit in terms of role and mental functioning for these heart failure patients.