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BASIC Training

A Pilot Study of Balance/Strengthening Exercises in Heart Failure

McGuire, Rita, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC1*; Honaker, Julie, PhD, CCC-A2; Pozehl, Bunny, PhD, APRN, FAAN3; Hertzog, Melody, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/RNJ.0000000000000161
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Purpose The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of a multicomponent balance and resistance training intervention on physical function, balance, and falls in older (≥65 years) community-dwelling heart failure (HF) patients.

Design Randomized, two-group repeated-measures experimental design.

Methods The intervention involved once weekly supervised group sessions with home sessions encouraged twice weekly. Focus groups held pre/post intervention. Outcome variables included measures of physical function, balance confidence, and falling risk.

Findings In a sample size of 33, the Dynamic Gait Index change from baseline to 12 weeks was significantly different in the groups (p = .029). The number of reported falls declined from 0.92 to 0.54 per participant.

Conclusions A supervised group session intervention can increase mobility and gait and reduce fall rate for HF patients.

Clinical Relevance This study was designed to improve lower extremity strength, balance, and falls in elderly HF patients, thus reducing costs and improving quality of life for this population.

1 University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing-Lincoln Division, Lincoln, NE, USA

2 Cleveland Clinic, Head and Neck Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA

3 University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, Omaha, NE, USA

Correspondence: Rita McGuire, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing-Lincoln Division, Ste. 131, 1230 “O” Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Email: rita.mcguire@unmc.edu

Cite this article as: McGuire, R., Honaker, J., Pozehl, B., & Hertzog, M. (2018). Basic training: a pilot study of balance/strengthening exercises in heart failure. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00–00. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000161

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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