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cardiac rehabilitation, cardiovascular disease, China, home-based exercise, older adults, randomized clinical trial



  1. Li, Xueyu
  2. Xu, Shunlin
  3. Zhou, Lijuan
  4. Li, Rongbin
  5. Wang, Jianrong


Background: Exercise is important for fitness and recovery of older adults after hospitalization for treatment of cardiovascular disease. Home-based, nurse-led exercise programs may be beneficial.


Objective: The aim of this study was to test the effects of a low-intensity, home-based exercise protocol led by an advanced practice nurse on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), physical fitness, and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) in older adults after hospital discharge with a cardiovascular disease diagnosis.


Methods: The study was randomized and single blinded. Seventy-seven older adults (>=75 years old, mean = 80.68 years old) were included; 32 subjects in the intervention and 29 in the control group completed the study. The low-intensity, home-based exercise protocol is composed of 14-type joint exercises and walking for 12 weeks. The main outcome measures were assessments on the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form-36, the Senior Fitness Test, and LVEF at baseline and 12 weeks after hospital discharge.


Results: After 12 weeks, the intervention group showed significant improvements in HRQOL (physical functioning, role-physical, bodily pain, and vitality; p < .05) as well as on the Senior Fitness Test (chair stands, arm curls, Timed Up and Go, and 6-minute walk distance; p < .05); there was no significant improvement in LVEF (p = .56).


Conclusions: The low-intensity, home-based exercise led by an advanced practice nurse was effective in improving HRQOL and physical fitness. Adherence was high, and there were no adverse events related to exercise.