Frailty and Exercise Training: How to Provide Best Care after Cardiac Surgery or Intervention for Elder Patients with Valvular Heart Disease

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The aim of this literature review was to evaluate existing evidence on exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) as a treatment option for elderly frail patients with valvular heart disease (VHD). Pubmed database was searched for articles between 1980 and January 2018. From 2623 articles screened, 61 on frailty and VHD and 12 on exercise-based training for patients with VHD were included in the analysis. We studied and described frailty assessment in this patient population. Studies reporting results of exercise training in patients after surgical/interventional VHD treatment were analyzed regarding contents and outcomes. The tools for frailty assessment included fried phenotype frailty index and its modifications, multidimensional geriatric assessment, clinical frailty scale, 5-meter walking test, serum albumin levels, and Katz index of activities of daily living. Frailty assessment in CR settings should be based on functional, objective tests and should have similar components as tools for risk assessment (mobility, muscle mass and strength, independence in daily living, cognitive functions, nutrition, and anxiety and depression evaluation). Participating in comprehensive exercise-based CR could improve short- and long-term outcomes (better quality of life, physical and functional capacity) in frail VHD patients. Such CR program should be led by cardiologist, and its content should include (1) exercise training (endurance and strength training to improve muscle mass, strength, balance, and coordination), (2) nutrition counseling, (3) occupational therapy (to improve independency and cognitive function), (4) psychological counseling to ensure psychosocial health, and (5) social worker counseling (to improve independency). Comprehensive CR could help to prevent, restore, and reduce the severity of frailty as well as to improve outcomes for frail VHD patients after surgery or intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9849475
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume18
Number of pages36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 3632347

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