Purpose: Hemodialysis (HD) patients suffer from generalized weakness, exercise intolerance and muscle atrophy, all leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. HD patients spend at least 50% of their time in a functionally “switch off” mode with their fatigue sensations reaching a peak in the immediate hours after the dialysis session. The purpose of the current study was to assess the effectiveness of a nine-month hybrid intradialytic exercise program on fatigue symptoms occurring during and after hemodialysis session. Methods: Twenty stable hemodialysis patients were included in the study (59 ± 13.7 years; 16 males). All patients completed a 9-month supervised exercise training program composed of both aerobic cycling and resistance training during HD. Aspects related to physical and generalized fatigue were assessed via validated questionnaires, while physical performance was assessed by a battery of tests, before and after the intervention period. Results: Exercise capacity and physical performance were increased by an average of 65 and 40%, respectively. Patients reported feeling better during post-dialysis hours in question 1 (p = 0.000), question 3 (p = 0.009) and question 4 (p = 0.003) after the 9-month intervention. In addition, exercise training improved scores in cognitive function (p = 0.037), vitality (p = 0.05), depression (p = 0.000) and fatigue (p = 0.039). Conclusion: The present study showed that a 9-month hybrid (aerobic + resistance) exercise training program improved symptoms of post-dialysis fatigue and overall general perception of fatigue. Hybrid exercise training is a safe and effective non-pharmacological approach to ameliorate fatigue symptoms in HD patients. Trial registration number: Trial registration number The study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01721551, 2012) as a clinical trial.
- Post-dialysis fatigue
- Quality of life