Objective: To investigate the cardiovascular stress during therapeutic activities in patients following acquired brain injury and evaluate the impact of choice of formula on age-predicted maximal heart rate on cardiovascular stress level. Design: A prospective observational study.Setting: A Danish district neurorehabilitation centre.Participants: 24 in-patients undergoing therapeutic rehabilitation within the first month of admission.Main outcome measures: Relative time distribution in relation to the target zones 40, 60 and 80 % of the heart rate reserve during therapeutic sessions in relation to the Functional Independent Measures motor score. Difference in therapeutic session time below 40 % heart rate reserve using the formula “220 - age” or “211- 0,64 x age” on maximal heart rate. Results: The formula “211- 0,64 x age” on maximal heart rate increased the relative session time below 40 % heart rate reserve significantly (p < 0,001). The cardiovascular stress during therapeutic activities exceeded 40 % heart rate reserve in all subgroups within the Functional Independent Measure motor domain; however, to a significantly less extent within the lowest functioning group (p < 0,05). Conclusion: More focus on patients’ cardiovascular stress during therapeutic activities are needed especially in patients with low motor function to maintain or improve patients’ cardiorespiratory fitness.
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