Acceptability, Feasibility and Preliminary Evaluation of a Novel, Personalised, Home-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Chronic Heart Failure (Active-at-Home-HF): a Pilot Study

Nduka C Okwose, Leah Avery, Nicola O'Brien, Sophie Cassidy, Sarah J Charman, Kristian Bailey, Lazar Velicki, Iacopo Olivotto, Paul Brennan, Guy A MacGowan, Djordje G Jakovljevic

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PURPOSE: Less than 10% of heart failure patients in the UK participate in cardiac rehabilitation programmes. The present pilot study evaluated feasibility, acceptability and physiological effects of a novel, personalised, home-based physical activity intervention in chronic heart failure.

METHODS: Twenty patients (68 ± 7 years old, 20% females) with stable chronic heart failure due to reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (31 ± 8 %) participated in a single-group, pilot study assessing the feasibility and acceptability of a 12-week personalised home-based physical activity intervention aiming to increase daily number of steps by 2000 from baseline (Active-at-Home-HF). Patients completed cardiopulmonary exercise testing with non-invasive gas exchange and haemodynamic measurements and quality of life questionnaire pre- and post-intervention. Patients were supported weekly via telephone and average weekly step count data collected using pedometers.

RESULTS: Forty-three patients were screened and 20 recruited into the study. Seventeen patients (85%) completed the intervention, and 15 (75%) achieved the target step count. Average step count per day increased significantly from baseline to 3 weeks by 2546 (5108 ± 3064 to 7654 ± 3849, P = 0.03, n = 17) and was maintained until week 12 (9022 ± 3942). Following completion of the intervention, no adverse events were recorded and quality of life improved by 4 points (26 ± 18 vs. 22 ± 19). Peak exercise stroke volume increased by 19% (127 ± 34 vs. 151 ± 34 m/beat, P = 0.05), while cardiac index increased by 12% (6.8 ± 1.5 vs. 7.6 ± 2.0 L/min/m2, P = 0.19). Workload and oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold also increased by 16% (49 ± 16 vs. 59 ± 14 watts, P = 0.01) and 10% (11.5 ± 2.9 vs. 12.8 ± 2.2 ml/kg/min, P = 0.39).

CONCLUSION: The Active-at-Home-HF intervention is feasible, acceptable and effective for increasing physical activity in CHF. It may lead to improvements in quality of life, exercise tolerance and haemodynamic function.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT0367727. Retrospectively registered on 17 September 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Number of pages9
JournalSports Medicine - Open
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Physical activity
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Home-based intervention
  • Behavioural change


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