Dialysis

Intradialytic cycling programme for haemodialysis patients

Uptake of and adherence to exercise during hospital haemodialysis.
Forty-nine patients who were being treated by hospital haemodialysis in Dumfries at the start of July 2003.

Eight-week intradialytic cycling programme, supervised by a physiotherapist. Around 40% of haemodialysis patients may be suitable for and able to complete an 8-week intradialytic cycling programme

Objective.

To determine the uptake of and adherence to exercise during hospital haemodialysis.

Results

Three patients were ineligible: one died, one moved to another centre and one transferred to peritoneal dialysis. Eight (17%) patients were not interested in taking part in the study and 16 (35%) had medical problems that prevented them from taking part. Twenty-two of the remaining 46 (48%) patients began the programme. 

Those who exercised were younger (58 versus 67 years) and had fewer comorbidities (1.3 versus 2.1) than patients who did not exercise. Seventeen patients (77% of those who started exercising and 38% of those eligible to exercise) were still cycling at the end of the 8-week period. Sixteen of the 22 patients felt that they had benefited from the programme, and all 22 patients said that the programme should continue.

Conclusions

Around 40% of haemodialysis patients may be suitable for and able to complete an 8-week intradialytic cycling programme. This is a higher rate of adherence to exercise than reported in the literature. 

Our experience of haemodialysis patients in south-west Scotland suggests that uptake and adherence may be maximised by the presence of a physiotherapist during each dialysis session, and by targeting patients for exercise during dialysis rather than in an outpatient setting.

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