Abstract 13072: The 6 Minute Walk Test Improves Exercise Confidence in Chronic Heart Failure Patients
Introduction: Chronic heart failure (CHF) patients have poor adherence to self-care behaviours, particularly exercise. Patient confidence in their physical abilities is a known predictor of exercise adherence. However, factors influencing confidence are poorly understood and the efficacy of simple interventions to increase such confidence is not known. The aim of this single-site, repeated measures study was to evaluate the effects of a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) on exercise confidence in CHF patients.
Methods: CHF patients attending an out-patient heart failure clinic at a major tertiary hospital were prospectively enrolled to perform a 6MWT under supervised conditions according to American Thoracic Society Guidelines. Consenting participants completed the Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) at baseline and an Exercise Confidence Survey (range 0-100; higher scores indicate greater confidence) at baseline and following completion of a 6MWT. Baseline demographics, including CHF characteristics, were obtained from hospital medical records.
Results: Fifty-seven CHF patients were eligible for enrolment to the study (81% males, mean age = 63 ± 13 years). Most patients (68%) had non-ischemic CHF aetiology and were NYHA class II or III. Over one quarter of patients (28%) were depressed (CDS ≥ 95). Baseline Total Exercise Confidence (mean 66 ± 24) was inversely associated with age (p<0.01), NYHA class (p<0.001), and depression (p<0.001). Distance walked on 6MWT (mean = 400 ± 123 metres) was positively correlated with Baseline Total Exercise Confidence (p<0.001) and with each of the baseline Exercise Confidence sub-scales (ie., Walking, Running, Climbing and Lifting Confidence; p<0.001). Following the 6MWT, a significant improvement in Total Exercise Confidence (F(1, 49) = 7.26, p<0.01) and Running Confidence (F(1, 51) = 4.77, p<0.05) adjusted for age, CDS score and NYHA class, was observed.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the 6MWT is a simple and effective intervention to improve exercise confidence in chronic heart failure patients. These results may have important patient self-management implications; future research should monitor whether improvements in exercise confidence are persistent and translate to changes in exercise behaviours.
Author Disclosures: F.J. Ha: None. S.R. Toukhsati: None. R. Yates: None. J. Cameron: None. D.L. Hare: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.