Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Sep 14;
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.