Purpose. The purpose of this study was to systematically review and conduct a meta-analysis to examine the impact of comprehensive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation on exercise capacity, functional status, and quality of life in patients with heart failure. Methods. PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL were searched using keywords and MeSH terms on heart failure and cardiac rehabilitation. Randomized clinical trials published in English using outpatient exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart failure were included. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation was utilized for quality appraisal. Pooled estimates were computed using standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% CIs. Primary outcomes were functional status (6-minute walk distance, quality of life, exercise capacity using peak oxygen consumption, muscle strength, and endurance). Results. Eleven randomized controlled trials including 1523 participants ranging from 45 to 80 years old and an intervention duration ranging from 2 to 26 weeks were analyzed. Pooled results indicated significant improvements with comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation on 6-minute walk distance (SMD = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.06 to 0.54) and oxygen consumption (SMD = 0.23; 95% CI = 0.06 to 0.40). However, there was no additional benefit for the quality of life beyond that seen in the comparison groups. Conclusion. Results of this study suggest that comprehensive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation is associated with significantly better clinical outcomes than single-component exercise programs in cardiac rehabilitation settings, multicomponent exercise in noncardiac rehabilitation settings, or no exercise. Impact. Heart failure is significantly associated with an increased risk of poor exercise tolerance. Despite the proven benefit of cardiac rehabilitation on exercise tolerance and physical activities from individual randomized clinical trials, questions regarding its impact on clinical outcomes such as exercise capacity, functional status, and quality of life remain inadequate. This systematic review and meta-analysis provides strong evidence supporting comprehensive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation for improving clinical outcomes in heart failure.
- Heart Failure
- Minnesota Living with Heart Failure
- Six-Minute Walk Distance
ASJC Scopus subject areas