Is Physical Therapy the Early Solution for Post-Acute Myocardial Infarction Patients? A Meta-Analysis

DOI: 10.2478/jim-2020-0026


Background: Physical rehabilitation is essential to improve the quality of life of patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Study aim: The study intended to demonstrate the benefits of early rehabilitation in patients with AMI. Material and method: We performed a meta-analysis to document the benefits of physical treatment in patients who suffered an AMI. Studies were searched in the following databases: PubMed, PlosOne, Mendeley, and The terms used in our research were “rehabilitation”, “physical exercise”, “physical training” “quality of life”, “early”, and “post MI”. The inclusion criteria consisted in the assessment of the following parameters: heart rate, maximal/submaximal capacity, and characteristics of the left ventricle – end-diastolic volume, ejection fraction, and left ventricle hypertrophy included in the study design. Results: The database search identified 710 studies, of which only 10 passed the inclusion criteria. Out of 1,515 patients who underwent early physical therapy, 960 reported improvement in the quality of their life (p < 0.001). A number of 2,703 patients out of a total of 3,595 underwent a complete physical treatment and medication program. From the ten studies included in the meta-analysis, six had a positive feedback to the multimodal treatment within 1 month post-AMI. Patients who performed physical exercises within a month after the cardiac arrest (1,103 post-AMI patients from a total of 1,278) demonstrated a high heterogeneity represented by the coefficient I2 = 84% but with a significant statistical value of p <0.00001. Conclusion: Early physical therapy initiation significantly improves the quality of life of patients with AMI.