Is the Cardiovascular Response Equivalent Between a Supervised Center-Based Setting and a Self-care Home-Based Setting When Rating of Perceived Exertion Is Used to Guide Aerobic Exercise Intensity During a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program?

Lars H Tang, Ann-Dorthe Zwisler, Selina K Berg, Patrick Doherty, Rod S Taylor, Henning Langberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate if exercise intensity guided by rating of perceived exertion (RPE) results in an equivalent cardiovascular response when applied in either a center-based or a home-based setting.

DESIGN: Data from patients with heart disease (post-valve surgery and atrial fibrillation post-radiofrequency ablation) participating in exercise-based rehabilitation were included. Patients performed a 12-week program in either a center- or a home-based setting. Using RPE, patients recorded their exercise intensity 3 times during an aerobic training phase. Exercise intensity was objectively measured using heart rate (HR) monitors.

RESULTS: A total of 2622 RPE values with corresponding HR data were available. There was no difference in the level of association (interaction P = 0.51) between HR and RPE seen in the center-based setting (mean of 6.1 beats/min per 1.0 difference in RPE; 95% confidence interval, 4.8-7.5 beats/min) compared with the home-based setting (mean of 5.3 beats/min per 1.0 difference in RPE; 95% confidence interval, 4.0-6.5 beats/min). The level of patient familiarization, exercise intensity, and patient characteristics did not affect the level of association between RPE and HR.

CONCLUSIONS: Independent of exercise setting, RPE appears to be equally effective in guiding exercise intensity of patients participating in cardiac rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381–387
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2016

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