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Eura Medicophys. 2007 Dec;43(4):489-97.

The effect of cardiac rehabilitation on quality of life, anxiety and depression in patients with congestive heart failure. A randomized controlled trial, short-term results.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Yeditepe University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.



One of the major treatment goals in congestive heart failure (CHF) is to preserve the functional level of the patient and to improve psychosocial factors. For these purposes, exercise training is recommended for the management of CHF. With this background, the aim of this study is to investigate the effects of aerobic exercise on quality of life, depression and anxiety levels in a Turkish patient population with CHF.


Sixty patients with CHF in stage II-III according to NYHA were included. Patients were randomly assigned either to a cardiac rehabilitation group or to a control group. Twenty-seven patients were allocated to a weekly aerobic walking program on treadmill, thrice a week for 8 weeks, and 26 patients did not receive any exercise training. Both groups were assessed by an ergospirometric exercise test, Hacettepe Quality of Life Questionnaire (HQoL), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) at baseline and at the end.


Forty-four patients (treatment group: 23) completed the study. In the treatment group, significant increases in peak oxygen consumption, exercise time and metabolic equivalents (MET) levels were attained (P=0.001, P=0.001, P=0.003, respectively). Significant decreases in BDI (P=0.004) and STAI subgroups (P=0.049, P=0.023, respectively) were observed, whereas there was no change in HQoL scores. In the control group, there was no difference between baseline and 8th week evaluation in all parameters.


Patients with CHF tolerated aerobic exercise programs well. This resulted with improvement in both physical and psychologic wellbeing, but not in quality of life in the short term.

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