Effects of graded exercise training on functional capacity, muscle strength, and fatigue after renal transplantation: a randomized controlled trial

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Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation : an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia


Successful renal transplantation (RT) recipients suffer residual muscle weakness, fatigue, and low functional capacity. A safe, feasible, structured, early graded exercise training to improve functional capacity, muscle strength, and fatigue is the need of the hour. The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of graded exercise training on the functional capacity, muscle strength, and fatigue after RT. It is a randomized controlled trial conducted at a tertiary care hospital from January 2012 to December 2016. This trial included 104 consented, stable renal transplant recipients without cardiopulmonary/neuromuscular impairment. They received either routine care (51) or graded exercise training (53) for 12 weeks after randomization. The functional capacity, isometric quadriceps muscle strength, and fatigue score were measured at baseline, six, and 12 weeks later to induction. The outcomes of the study and control groups were analyzed using the /-test, Wilcoxon signed-rank test, ANOVA, and Pearson's correlation. For all analyses, P <0.05 was fixed acceptable. The functional capacity improved by 147 and 255 m, the muscle strength by 6.35 and 9.27 kg, and fatigue score by 0.784 and 1.781 in the control and the study group (SG), respectively, significantly more in the SG. Functional capacity had a positive and negative correlation with muscle strength and fatigue, respectively (P <0.05). The graded exercise training significantly improved the functional capacity, fatigue levels, and muscle strength after RT.

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