One-year effect of a supervised exercise programme on functional capacity and quality of life in peripheral arterial disease.
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PURPOSE: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a chronic, progressive disease with a significant cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk burden and a considerable impact on functional capacity and quality of life (QoL). Exercise programmes result in significant improvements in walking distances but long-term effects are uncertain. The aim of this study was to assess the one-year effects of participation in a 12-week supervised exercise programme on functional capacity and QoL for PAD patients.
METHODS: Patients were randomly allocated to a control (n = 16) or an exercise (n = 28) group. Data regarding functional capacity (Walking Impairment Questionnaire WIQ), disease-specific QoL (Intermittent Claudication Questionnaire ICQ) and generic QoL (SF-36) were collected at baseline, 12 weeks and 1 year.
RESULTS: At 12 weeks, there was a trend towards improved QoL in both groups, with a tendency for greater improvement in the exercise group (p = 0.066) and a trend towards improved functional capacity (WIQ Stair-climbing p = 0.093) in the exercise group. At 1 year, ICQ scores in the exercise group were considerably better than those in the control group (p = 0.058), reflecting improved QoL and maintenance of benefits.
CONCLUSIONS: Participation in a supervised exercise programme results in improvements in functional capacity and QoL at 1 year post-participation.