Patient and Caregiver Attitudes and Practices of Exercise in Candidates Listed for Liver Transplantation
Impaired physical capacity increases peri-liver transplant complications. Patient perceptions regarding exercise prior to transplantation are not known.
This study aimed to assess patient and caregiver activity levels, perceptions of willingness to exercise, and of provider advice.
Consecutive patients listed for liver transplant and caregivers presenting for routine outpatient visits were evaluated over a 3-month interval. Anonymous surveys adapted to patients and caregivers addressed the importance and safety of exercise, type and duration of exercise performed, barriers, willingness to wear a monitoring device, and perceived provider recommendations. Responses were logged on a Likert scale from 1 to 5.
Three hundred and sixty-eight responses were received. Most participants perceived exercise as important. Patients exercised three times per week for 30 min. Eighty percent endorsed walking (median response: 2—agree; IQR 1–2). Most did not jog, swim, cycle, or strength train. Fatigue, reported by 70%, was the major barrier (2, IQR 1–3). Over 90% of caregivers endorsed exercise as important (1—strongly agree, IQR 1–2) and encouraged exercise (median response 2, IQR 1–2). Over 60% of patients (median response 2, IQR 1–3) and caregivers (median response 2, IQR 2–3) felt providers encouraged exercise.
Patients and caregivers are willing to exercise to optimize physical fitness prior to liver transplantation.
KeywordsPhysical capacity Exercise Liver transplantation Patient Caregiver
Fitness, life enhancement, and exercise in transplantation
Model for end-stage liver disease
J. Lai, M. Dunn, A. Montano-Loza, M. Kappus, and E. Carey designed the study, collected the data, and provided significant input regarding manuscript composition. D. Chascsa analyzed the data and composed the manuscript. S. Dasarathy assisted in study design and provided significant input regarding manuscript composition.
Funding was provided by National Institute on Aging (Grant No. K23AG048337).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.