Effects of Conventional and Virtual Reality Cardiovascular Rehabilitation in Body Composition and Functional Capacity of Patients with Heart Diseases: Randomized Clinical Trial

Abstract Background: Virtual reality is an alternative therapeutic resource to be inserted into cardiovascular rehabilitation, stimulating the practice of physical activity through man-machine interaction. Objective: To compare the effects of conventional and virtual reality cardiac rehabilitation on body composition and functional capacity in patients with heart disease. Methods: Randomized clinical trial with 27 cardiac patients divided into conventional rehabilitation group (CRG) and virtual reality rehabilitation group (VRG). They underwent a rehabilitation program with 60-minute training sessions twice a week for eight weeks. The VRG training consisted of exercises from the Xbox 360® with Kinect(tm), using YourShape(tm) and Dance Central 3(tm) games. The CRG used conventional treadmills for aerobic exercise and free weights for resistance exercise. Bioimpedance and 6-minute walk test (6MWT) were evaluated at baseline and after training. For main outcome analysis, Student t and Mann Whitney tests were used with a 5% significance level. Results: The VRG showed a significant increase in body fat percentage and fat weight when compared to the CRG, and a smaller amount of total water. There was a significant improvement in functional capacity evidenced by the increase in the distance covered in the 6MWT (54.00 m and 32.25 m in the CRG and VRG, respectively), but the gains did not differ between the groups. Conclusion: The two rehabilitation modalities had no effect on the body composition of the groups. In addition, the improvement in functional capacity was similar in both groups.