Fatigue during and after cardiac rehabilitation

Myrna Geffen, Nienke Hoeve, M Sunamura, Henk Stam, Ron van Domburg, Rita Van den Berg - Emons

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To estimate fatigue during and after a multidisciplinary cardiac rehabilitation programme and its association with aerobic capacity. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Patients: A total of 121 patients with coronary artery disease (79% men), mean age 57 years. Methods: Fatigue was measured with the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and aerobic capacity with the 6-min walk test (6MWT). FSS scores >= 4 were defined as fatigue and >5.1 as severe fatigue. Measurements were taken before (TO) and after rehabilitation (T1) and at 1-year follow-up (T2). Results: Fatigue decreased from 3.49 at baseline to 3.03 post-rehabilitation (p = 0.002) and decreased further to 2.75 at follow-up (p < 0.001 vs TO). At baseline, 17.7% of patients were classified as severely fatigued. After cardiac rehabilitation, the prevalence decreased to 10.6% (p < 0.001) and to 8.1% at follow-up (p = 0.011 vs TO). Although the prevalence of severely fatigued patients decreased, it was still high compared with healthy individuals (3.5%). Aerobic capacity was weakly associated with a reduction in fatigue (p = 0.030). Conclusion: Fatigue decreased during and after cardiac rehabilitation. However, the prevalence of severely fatigued patients remained high after cardiac rehabilitation. Fatigue should be identified at an early stage in order to provide additional programmes aiming to reduce severe fatigue.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)569-574
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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