Aerobic Exercise Training in Stroke Rehabilitation: Any Gap in Knowledge

Tal-hatu Kolapo Hamzat, Nelson Echezona Ekechukwu

Abstract


Background: Most stroke survivors live with residual physical impairments that may promote a sedentary lifestyle and resultant secondary complications, especially poor cardio-respiratory fitness. This systematic review was conceived to examine the extent of research on the effect of aerobic exercise on health outcomes of stroke survivors as a prelude to a clinical trial.

Method: Electronic databases were searched with the last search performed in May, 2014. The methodological quality of studies was assessed using the PEDro scale. High-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were considered level 1 evidence while lower-quality RCTs were considered level 2 evidence.

Result: A total of 642 articles were generated from the search strategy; 10 articles fulfilled all criteria and were selected for this review. 50% of these studies recruited stroke survivors with ischaemic type of stroke while 30% had individuals with either ischaemic or haemorrhagic types. 70% of the studies had good scores while 30% had fair scores in methodological quality. The majority of the studies used VO2max as the outcome for assessing aerobic fitness; a few studies (10% each) assessed anthropometric outcomes and biochemical profile. No study assessed a haematological profile nor compared the effects of continuous and interval aerobic exercise on stroke outcomes.

Conclusion: A gap in clinical trials on the effects of aerobic exercise on biochemical, haematological and anthropometric profiles of stroke survivors exists as well as in the comparative effects of continuous and interval training on stroke outcomes.


Keywords


Aerobic, Exercise, Stroke, Review.

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