Combined Resistance and Aerobic Exercise is Better than Resistance Training Alone to Improve Functional Performance of Haemodialysis Patients — Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Background and Purpose.

This study aims to compare the effects of combined resistance and aerobic exercise with a resistance programme alone on functional performance among haemodialysis patients.


The design was a randomized controlled trial.


The setting was the dialysis unit of a Brazilian university hospital.


Haemodialysis patients were assigned to one kind of intervention or another.


The patients were assigned to receive the resistance exercise combined with an aerobic training or to maintain an ongoing resistance programme alone for a period of 10 weeks.

Main outcome measure.

The functional performance of patients was assessed before and after the intervention through the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). The difference over time of the 6MWT was compared between the groups through two-way repeated-measures ANOVA.


Thirteen patients were allocated for each group of intervention. The difference in distance walked before and after intervention in the combined training group was of +39.7 ± 61.4 m, and the difference in the resistance training group was of −19.2 ± 53.9 m, p = 0.02.


Although the best protocol of exercise for patients on dialysis is not yet clear, in our sample of haemodialysis patients the combination of aerobic and resistance training was more effective than resistance training alone to improve functional performance. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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