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A pilot randomised controlled trial of a home-based exercise programme aimed at improving endurance and function in adults with neuromuscular disorders
  1. H Dawes1,
  2. N Korpershoek5,
  3. J Freebody1,
  4. C Elsworth4,
  5. N van Tintelen5,
  6. D T Wade2,
  7. H Izadi3,
  8. D H Jones1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, Oxford
  2. 2Oxford Centre for Enablement, Oxford
  3. 3Oxford Brookes University
  4. 4University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  5. 5University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Helen Dawes
 School of Biological and Molecular Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Headington, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK; hdawes{at}


Aim: To investigate the feasibility and effect of a home-based exercise programme on walking endurance, muscle strength, fatigue and function in people with neuromuscular disorders (NMDs).

Methods: 20 adults with NMDs recruited to a control (n = 11) or exercise (n = 9) group were assessed by blinded assessors at baseline and at week 8. Walking and strengthening exercises were given to the exercise group in an 8-week home exercise programme. A 2-min walk distance was the main outcome measurement; isometric muscle strength, fatigue and function were secondary measurements.

Results: 2-min walk distances were not found to change in either group (p>0.05; control: mean 14.50 (SD 22.06) m; exercise: mean 2.88 (SD 20.08) m), and no difference was observed in the change scores between groups (p>0.05). Leg muscle strength increased in the exercise group (p<0.05) but not in the control group (p>0.05). Significance was reached between the groups with respect to the difference in change in muscle strength scores in the right quadriceps (p<0.05; control: mean −2.82 (SD 4.87) kg; exercise: mean −7.08 (SD 2.82) kg). No change was observed in fatigue or function scores (p<0.05).

Conclusions: A home-based approach aimed at improving endurance in adults with NMDs is feasible and further investigation on a larger sample is warranted.

  • NMD, neuromuscular disorder

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  • Published Online First 13 April 2006