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Research Article Open Access
Physical functioning declines over time with dialysis therapy. In hemodialysis (HD) patients, exercise has been established as a vital part of health promotion activities to improve all aspects of quality of life. Methods: A quasi-experimental intervention design was used, with pre and post assessments of the effects of implementation of an exercise program for hemodialysis patients at Mohail General Hospital in southern Saudi Arabia. Questionnaires were used to collect the following data: Physical Fitness Measurement, KDQoL-SFTM 1.3, Borg's 15-point scale for rating of perceived exertion (RPE), vital signs, and lab investigation of hemoglobin, serum phosphates, serum albumin, creatinine, fasting blood sugar, Kt/v, and urea.
Results: In the pre and post physical fitness scale as assessed by patients, there were statistically significant changes to the scores of all activities (p<0.001). Regarding the correlations between pre and post-program quality of life (QOL), scores indicate weak to strong statistically significant positive correlations in all domains except for those of cognitive function, quality of social interaction, and sleep. Moreover the patients’ Borg scores showed statistically significant decreases throughout the three months of follow-up (p<0.001). In addition, there were improvements in the adequacy of dialysis (kt/v) and in serum potassium levels (p<0.001) from the first to the third months. Although the percentages of patients with hemoglobin level 11 gm/dl or higher increased from 41.1% in the first month to 60.3% in the third month, the difference was not statistical significance (p=0.067).
Conclusions: The implementation of the exercise program was associated with significant improvements in the scores of all domains of quality of life and the physical fitness scale. Therefore, we suggest the exercise program might be applied in other similar situations such as with peritoneal dialysis patients so the effects can be evaluated for further improvement.
Exercise Program, HD, QOL, physical fitness and Saudi Arabia, Innovative primary care, Quality in Primary Care, Primary care clinic management, Primary care medicines, Advanced concepts in primary care