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Training Adherence in Early Cardiac Rehabilitation: EFFECT OF EXERCISE SESSION DURATION

Hansen, Dominique MSc; Berger, Jan BSc; Dendale, Paul MD, PhD; De Rybel, Rudy MD; Meeusen, Romain PhD

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Prevention:
doi: 10.1097/HCR.0b013e3181a333ba
Brief Report

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of the prolongation of exercise sessions (from 40 to 60 minutes) on training adherence in the rehabilitation of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

METHODS: In this prospective, randomized clinical trial, 417 CAD patients (mean age = 63 ± 10 years, 78% males) followed a 7-week exercise training intervention, 3 sessions each week, at 65% of the maximal oxygen uptake capacity. Subjects were randomly assigned to 40-minute (n = 198) or 60-minute (n = 219) exercise sessions, with equal time distribution on the different exercise modalities (42%—treadmill, 33%—bike, and 25%—arm cranking device, in each session). During the exercise training intervention, dropout, as well as the reasons for dropout, was registered.

RESULTS: At 7 weeks of exercise training, dropout rate was comparable between groups (∼19.9%, P > .05). However, patients with acute myocardial infarction and/or coronary artery bypass graft surgery were more likely to complete the exercise training intervention (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: The prolongation of the exercise sessions does not interfere with the training adherence in the early rehabilitation of CAD patients.

In Brief

In this study, the impact of exercise session duration (40 minutes vs 60 minutes) on the training adherence in the rehabilitation of 417 coronary artery disease patients was examined. At 7 weeks of exercise training, dropout rate was comparable when following 40-minute or 60-minute exercise sessions.

Author Information

Rehabilitation and Health Centre, Virga Jesse Hospital, Hasselt (Messrs Hansen and Berger and Dr Dendale), Department of Human Physiology and Sportsmedicine, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels (Mr Hansen and Dr Meeusen), and Department of Cardiology, Algemeen Stedelijk Ziekenhuis, Aalst (Dr De Rybel), Belgium.

Corresponding Author: Romain Meeusen, PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Faculty LK, Department of Human Physiology and Sportsmedicine, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium, (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.