A pilot randomised controlled trial of a home-based exercise programme aimed at improving endurance and function in adults with neuromuscular disorders

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Abstract

Aim:

To investigate the feasibility and effect of a home-based exercise programme on walking endurance, muscle strength, fatigue and function in people with neuromuscular disorders (NMDs).

Methods:

20 adults with NMDs recruited to a control (n = 11) or exercise (n = 9) group were assessed by blinded assessors at baseline and at week 8. Walking and strengthening exercises were given to the exercise group in an 8-week home exercise programme. A 2-min walk distance was the main outcome measurement; isometric muscle strength, fatigue and function were secondary measurements.

Results:

2-min walk distances were not found to change in either group (p>0.05; control: mean 14.50 (SD 22.06) m; exercise: mean 2.88 (SD 20.08) m), and no difference was observed in the change scores between groups (p>0.05). Leg muscle strength increased in the exercise group (p<0.05) but not in the control group (p>0.05). Significance was reached between the groups with respect to the difference in change in muscle strength scores in the right quadriceps (p<0.05; control: mean −2.82 (SD 4.87) kg; exercise: mean −7.08 (SD 2.82) kg). No change was observed in fatigue or function scores (p<0.05).

Conclusions:

A home-based approach aimed at improving endurance in adults with NMDs is feasible and further investigation on a larger sample is warranted.

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