Effects of a renal rehabilitation exercise program in patients with CKD: a randomized, controlled trial.

Document Type


Publication Date



Nephrology, MMCRI, CORE, Rehabilitation

Journal Title

Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN

MeSH Headings

Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Exercise, Exercise Test, Exercise Therapy, Exercise Tolerance, Fatigue, Female, Health Status, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Pain, Patient Compliance, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic, Walking


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Patients with CKD have a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease associated with or exacerbated by inactivity. This randomized, controlled study investigated whether a renal rehabilitation exercise program for patients with stages 3 or 4 CKD would improve their physical function and quality of life.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: In total, 119 adults with CKD stages 3 and 4 were randomized, and 107 of these patients proceeded to usual care or the renal rehabilitation exercise intervention consisting of usual care plus guided exercise two times per week for 12 weeks (24 sessions). Physical function was determined by three well established performance-based tests: 6-minute walk test, sit-to-stand test, and gait-speed test. Health-related quality of life was assessed by the RAND 36-Item Short Form Health Survey.

RESULTS: At baseline, no differences in self-reported level of activity, 6-minute walk test, and sit-to-stand test scores were observed between the usual care (n=48) and renal rehabilitation exercise (n=59) groups, although baseline gait-speed test score was higher in the renal rehabilitation exercise group (P

CONCLUSIONS: A 12-week/24-session renal rehabilitation exercise program improved physical capacity and quality of life in patients with CKD stages 3 and 4. Longer follow-up is needed to determine if these findings will translate into decreased mortality rates.



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