, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 1130-1151
Date: 25 Jan 2013

Home-Based Rehabilitation Enhances Daily Physical Activity and Motor Skill in Children Who Have Undergone the Fontan Procedure

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Abstract

This randomized trial compared physical activity enhancing exercise prescription and education programs in 61 children (36 male) with single-ventricle physiology after Fontan. After Fontan, children are less active than recommended for optimal health. They are often geographically dispersed and unable to attend weekday programs. Participants, 5.9–11.7 years of age who were status 5.3 years post-Fontan, received 12-month, parent-delivered home programs to enhance physical activity, motor skill, fitness, and activity attitudes. Daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was measured at baseline and again at 6, 12, and 24 months. Secondary outcomes were gross motor skill, fitness, and activity attitudes. Gross motor skill (p = .01) was significantly greater at the end of the 2-year study period for both intervention groups combined. MVPA at 2 years was significantly greater (p = .03) than the predicted decrease with age. Spring season (85 ± 25 min), male sex (69 ± 21 min), greater baseline activity (0.3 ± 0.1 min/baseline minute), and better gross motor skill (1.1 ± 0.4 min/percentile) increased weekly MVPA in a multivariable repeated-measures regression model adjusted for intervention, maturation during the 2-year study, sex, season, and baseline activity. Benefits were not influenced by type of rehabilitation, compliance, or rural/urban location. Home-based, pediatric physical activity rehabilitation enhances physical activity, gross motor skill, exercise capacity, and physical fitness among preadolescent children after Fontan regardless of rural/urban location. Prescribed education and exercise programs are similarly effective for providing the important health benefits of daily physical activity. Enhanced gross motor skill is associated with increased MVPA despite exercise capacity limitations after Fontan. Rehabilitation attenuates the expected decrease in MVPA with age.