Effect of interval compared to continuous exercise training on physiological responses in patients with Chronic Respiratory Diseases: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Charikleia Alexiou*, Lesley Ward, Emily Hume, Matthew Armstrong, Michael Wilkinson, Ioannis Vogiatzis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Current evidence suggests that interval exercise training (IET) and continuous exercise training (CET) produce comparable benefits in exercise capacity, cardiorespiratory fitness and symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, the effects of these modalities have only been reviewed in patients with COPD. This meta-analysis compares the effectiveness of IET versus CET on exercise capacity, cardiorespiratory fitness and exertional symptoms in patients with chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs). Methods: PubMed, CINHAL, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and Nursing and Allied health were searched for randomised controlled trials from inception to September 2020. Eligible studies included the comparison between IET and CET, reporting measures of exercise capacity, cardiorespiratory fitness and symptoms in individuals with CRDs. Results: Thirteen randomised control trials (530 patients with CRDs) with fair to good quality on the PEDro scale were included. Eleven studies involved n = 446 patients with COPD, one involved n = 24 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and one n = 60 lung transplantation (LT) candidates. IET resulted in greater improvements in peak work rate (WRpeak) (2.40 W, 95% CI: 0.83 to 3.97 W; p = 0.003) and lower exercise-induced dyspnoea (−0.47, 95% CI: −0.86 to 0.09; p = 0.02) compared to CET; however, these improvements did not exceed the minimal important difference for these outcomes. No significant differences in peak values for oxygen uptake (VO2peak), heart rate (HRpeak), minute ventilation (VEpeak), lactate threshold (LAT) and leg discomfort were found between the interventions. Conclusions: IET is superior to CET in improving exercise capacity and exercise-induced dyspnoea sensations in patients with CRDs; however, the extent of the clinical benefit is not considered clinically meaningful.
Original languageEnglish
Article number147997312110415
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalChronic Respiratory Disease
Volume18
Early online date19 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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