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J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2019 Aug 7. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000430. [Epub ahead of print]

A Randomized Study Examining the Effects of Mild-to-Moderate Group Exercises on Cardiovascular, Physical, and Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Heart Failure.

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Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Redwine, Rutledge, and Mills and Ms Chinh) and Family Medicine and Public Health (Ms Wilson and Drs Pung and Mills), University of California, San Diego; and College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa (Drs Redwine and Smith).



To compare 2 mild-to-moderate group exercises and treatment as usual (TAU) for improvements in physical function and depressive symptoms.


Patients with heart failure (n = 70, mean age = 66 yr, range = 45-89 yr) were randomized to 16 wk of tai chi (TC), resistance band (RB) exercise, or TAU.


Physical function differed by group from baseline to follow-up, measured by distance walked in the 6-min walk test (F = 3.19, P = .03). Tai chi participants demonstrated a nonsignificant decrease of 162 ft (95% confidence interval [CI], 21 to -345, P = .08) while distance walked by RB participants remained stable with a nonsignificant increase of 70 ft (95% CI, 267 to -127, P = .48). Treatment as usual group significantly decreased by 205 ft (95% CI, -35 to -374, P = .02) and no group differences occurred over time in end-systolic volume (P = .43) and left ventricular function (LVEF) (P = .67). However, groups differed over time in the Beck Depression Inventory (F = 9.2, P < .01). Both TC and RB groups improved (decreased) by 3.5 points (95% CI, 2-5, P < .01). Treatment as usual group decreased insignificantly 1 point (95% CI, -1 to 3, P = .27).


Tai chi and RB participants avoided a decrease in physical function decrements as seen with TAU. No groups changed in cardiac function. Both TC and RB groups saw reduced depression symptoms compared with TAU. Thus, both TC and RB groups avoided a decrease in physical function and improved their psychological function when compared with TAU.

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