Change of Tolerance of Physical Load and Quality of Life using Physical Therapy in Patients after Myocardial Infarction in the Early Period of Rehabilitation
Each second a person dies from cardiovascular diseases in Lithuania. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases in 2020 will account for 37% of all deaths in the world. Movement is very important for blood circulation and cardiac work, but due to reduced blood supply to the heart physical capacity is disrupted. Physical therapy improves tolerance of physical load, reduces fatigue, dyspnoea, frequency of hospitalization and improves the quality of life. The maximum efficiency is achieved when physical therapy starts in the first week after myocardial infarction. Starting physical therapy each week later, rehabilitation period becomes a month longer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of physiotherapy on the tolerance of physical load and the quality of life changes in patients after myocardial infarction in the early period of rehabilitation. The study involved 14 people (58.1 ± 7,6) after a myocardial infarction (9 men and 5 women). In study there were two groups: 1 – control group (n = 7) with physical therapy 1 time per day, 5 days per week (n = 5), 2 – experimental group (n = 7) with physical therapy 3 times per day, 5 days per week (n = 15). Tolerance of physical load was determine using a 6 min walk test, before and after the 6 min walk test we evaluated subjective complaints using Borg scale. The quality of life was evaluated using SF – 36 questionnaire. Both groups were evaluating before physical therapy and after 5 days of physical therapy. After physical therapy the tolerance of physical load increased in control and experimental groups, it improved during the 6-minute walk distance (p < 0.05), fatigue decreased (p < 0.05) (there was no differences between groups (p > 0.05)). The leg pain in both groups did not change (p > 0.05), dyspnoea did not decrease (p > 0.05). Physical therapy frequency did not influence the quality of life. Conclusion: physical therapy 3 times per day improved the tolerance of physical load – it increased in 6-minute walk distance, but the quality of life did not change significantly.
Keywords: myocardial infarction, functional capacity, quality of life, physical therapy.