Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a major health problem, with an increasing incidence and a gloomy prognosis that is often accompanied by restricted physical activity and severe complaints in several areas of quality of life (QoL) and mental health. Patients suffering from CHF experience a variety of symptoms as a result of the disease. The most frequent symptoms are fatigue, decreased exercise tolerance, swelling in the legs and ankles (edema), weight gain and difficulty in breathing (dyspnea) because of fluid accumulation. As a result, heart function is decreasing, the needs of oxygen in the tissues are unmet and also cognitive impairment (memory loss, poor concentration) may occur. Consequently, the disease is significantly related to poor physical, psychological and social functioning. Therefore, the assessment of well-being in patients with CHF is important. For this reason, various questionnaires have been reported to assess overall HQoL. Although a link between level of QoL and clinical status of afflicted patients has been supported, the prognostic value of the measurement of QoL has not been clearly defined. On the contrary, the level of patientsâ exercise capacity (particularly their peak oxygen consumption) is an established prognostic marker in CHF. Therapeutic exercise training is an accepted adjunct to medical therapy in the management of many chronic diseases. It is supported that exercise training leads to potential central (cardiac) and, principal important peripheral (skeletal muscle) beneficial adaptations and, thus, can provoke significant improvements in exercise tolerance and symptoms in cardiac patients.
Last date updated on July, 2014