The goal of this study is to determine the effect of a functional circuit training program
as compared to standard cardiac rehabilitation or control exercise in improving physical
function and activity.
In older (65 years of age or older) patients with congestive heart failure, we propose to:
1. Assess: a) Peak aerobic capacity (peak VO2) during a monitored, standardized treadmill
test; b) Oxygen uptake kinetics and heart rate during a standardized submaximal
treadmill test; c) Performance on a set of functional mobility tasks; d) Self-report of
physical disability and difficulty in performing daily tasks, and physical activity.
2. Conduct a 12-week randomized controlled trial, comparing changes in these assessed
measures in patients randomized to three different groups: 1) standard cardiac
rehabilitation using bicycle exercise; 2) group functional circuit training focusing on
exercises that involve functional mobility tasks and a home-activities exercise
component; 3) a chair-based, flexibility and "toning " (low level resistance) group
3. Reassess all groups after an additional 12 weeks in the measures identified above to
identify how well the three groups maintain their function.
4. Examine the mechanisms underlying change in functional mobility performance and
self-reported function as a result of the interventions
Primary hypothesis 1: Compared to chair-based exercise controls at the end of week 12, both
the cardiac rehabilitation and functional circuit training groups will show improvements in
measures of peak aerobic capacity, submaximal oxygen uptake kinetics, functional mobility
performance, and self-reported function.
Primary hypothesis 2: Compared to the other two groups that are given exercise instructions
only, the functional circuit training group, who continue their home activities exercise
program, show less decline by week 24 in measures of peak aerobic capacity, submaximal
oxygen uptake kinetics, functional mobility performance, and self-reported function.
Secondary hypothesis: Measures of submaximal oxygen uptake kinetics are better predictors
of changes in functional mobility performance and self-reported function than peak aerobic
capacity, muscle strength, joint range of motion, balance, and behavioral factors (such as
- Congestive Heart Failure