Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and exercises effect on functional exercise performance and quality of life in cases of liver cirrhosis
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Department of Internal Medicine, Cairo University Hospitals, Giza, Egypt
Submission date: 2021-04-06
Acceptance date: 2021-07-12
Publication date: 2022-05-23
Physiother Quart. 2022;30(3):1-6
Patients with cirrhosis experience severe physical deconditioning, sarcopenia, physical frailty, fatigue, and malnutrition. Exercise capacity is limited owing to inactivity, bed rest, obesity, or cachexia. Limb muscle dysfunction has important consequences for patients with liver cirrhosis because it contributes to exercise limitation and reduces daily activities and social life, leading to a quality of life (QOL) impairment, greater utilization of social and health resources, and a worse prognosis. The study purpose was to compare the effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and exercises on treatment of patients with liver cirrhosis.

A total of 60 patients (41 males and 19 females) with liver cirrhosis, aged 35–59 years, were randomly assigned to 2 groups: an NMES group (n = 30) and exercises group (n = 30). The intervention was implemented 3 times per week for 3 months. Exercise performance and QOL were measured before and after the intervention.

Before treatment, there was no significant difference in exercise performance or QOL between the 2 groups; however, after 3 months of intervention, a significant difference in exercise performance was observed between the 2 groups (p = 0.001). Both groups improved their QOL (p = 0.001), but the NMES group improved more than the exercise group.

NMES is an important technique to increase exercise performance and QOL in patients with liver cirrhosis.

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