Comparative effects of moderate-intensity interval training on sleep quality and functional capacity in atrial fibrillation patients with two types of sleep apnea
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Department of Physical Therapy for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Department of Nursing and Allied Health, School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne Australia
Department of Physical Therapy for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disorders, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Beni-Suef University, Beni Suef, Egypt
Submission date: 2022-07-16
Acceptance date: 2022-11-09
Publication date: 2024-03-25
Physiother Quart. 2024;32(1):93-99
This study aimed to examine the effects of moderate-intensity interval training (MIIT) on the quality of sleep and functional capacity in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with different presentations of sleep apnoea after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

18 participants with AF and sleep apnoea aged 45–65 years were assigned into two groups: AF with obstructive sleep apnoea group (group A, n1 = 9) and AF with mixed sleep apnoea group (group B, n2 = 9). Both groups received MIIT for ten weeks (3 sessions / week) and medical treatment (i.e., Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and drug therapy). Exclusion criteria were unstable cardiac comorbidities and neurological/musculoskeletal limitations to exercise intervention. Outcome measures included sleep parameters collected from the actigraphy, overall sleep quality rating domain of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and six-minute walk distance (6-MWD).

Significant changes were present in the means of all outcomes in group A (p < 0.05) and two outcomes (i.e., cut points & 6-MWD) in group B compared to baseline (p < 0.05). Also, there were significant differences in the absolute mean changes from baseline (∆) between the two groups, in favour of group A, in sleep latency (p < 0.001), total sleep duration (p = 0.026), sleep efficiency (p < 0.001), overall sleep quality rating item of the PSQI (p = 0.001), and 6-MWD (p = 0.008).

MIIT can be a supplementary therapeutic intervention that could contribute to greater positive changes in sleep quality and functional capacity in AF patients with obstructive sleep apnoea rather than in AF patients with mixed sleep apnoea post-CABG. MIIT could enhance the functional capacity independent of improving sleep quality in patients with AF and mixed sleep apnoea post-CABG.

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