Improving the health and well-being of haemodialysis patients.
The prevalence of both fatigue and loss of muscle mass is high amongst patients with end stage kidney disease. Studying 50 haemodialysis patients, our researchers are examining whether incorporating light aerobic exercise on a cycle-ergometer plus muscle strengthening using hand and ankle weights for about 30 minutes during the patients’ 4 hour dialysis sessions 3 times per week, together with a post-exercise oral nutrition supplement, decreases their levels of fatigue and decreases muscle wastage. They expect that the patients will also have greater general functioning and improved quality of life as well as improved dialysis efficiency and reduced inflammation.
Assisting the recovery of leukemia patients following stem cell transplantation.
Our nutritionist researchers found that 27% of leukemia patients admitted to The Wesley Hospital for stem cell transplantation are malnourished and that this is associated with increased length of stay, poor recovery from treatment and lower quality of life. The researchers are now providing those patients found to be malnourished with counselling and intensive nutrition intervention and measuring their lean muscle/fat mass, nutritional status and quality of life pre-admission and 1 and 3 months post-discharge. This will determine whether the patients’ nutritional problems are ongoing or stabilise following intervention.
Lifestyle modification helping heart attack patients.
Persons who have a heart attack generally improve their risk factor management (e.g. cease smoking, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly) for several weeks post-cardiac event but then often revert to pre-event behaviours within 12 months. In addition, about 60% gradually become non-compliant for their prescribed medication such as lipid lowering drugs.
This study is a randomized control trial determining whether behavioural intervention therapy for cardiac patients at 6, 12 and 24 months post event will help maintain their lifestyle changes and medication compliance. The program is carried out in the HeartWise Gym at The Wesley Hospital and involves regular counselling, health checks and exercise program review. To date over 170 participants have enrolled in the research program.