Effects of continuous Electrical Muscle Stimulation on exercise capacity, physical activity and quality of life in advanced heart failure patients: a pilot study.
Dr Prithwish Banerjee Consultant cardiologist UHCW NHS Trust.
November 2013 to August 2015
This study used a unique low frequency technology for stimulating muscle artificially, using electrodes embedded in a pair of tight fitting straps. While EMS has been available for many years, this particular technique of creating shivering-type vibration of the muscle is unique and can elicit an increase in heart rate with good tolerance.
Earlier studies using this form of LF-EMS were beneficial in healthy adults and patients with moderate heart failure. (Banerjee, 2005, 2009).The main aim of this pilot study was to determine whether wearing the LF-EMS straps regularly was tolerable and practical for severe CHF patients and whether there was potential for enhancing their general level of physical activity with its associated health benefits. It has collected data to inform a subsequent RCT to formally determine the effectiveness of the intervention in this patient group. Two Atrium Exercise physiologists were on the research team for this study with a third funded to facilitate the study at Atrium. Together they were responsible for carrying out all aspects of the trial from study design through to recruitment, testing and analysis. The study findings will be published in 2016