Category: Military and Veterans Affairs; Lifestyle Medicine; Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth)
Objective : To determine safety and efficacy of an accessible cooled compression exercise technology on physical and emotional function in veterans.
Design : Before-and-after Intervention Trial
Setting : General Community Rehabilitation Practice
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : Volunteer Sample of 14 Armed Forces Veterans
Interventions : 24 sessions in 12 weeks on an exercise platform that combines 21-minute interval training on a recumbent bicycle with cooling (47o water on seat, footplates) and compression (liquid-compression applied bilaterally on biceps-triceps, 40mmHg, and quadriceps-hamstrings, 65mmHg).
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Baseline and endpoint questionnaires, validated for clinical significance, for sleep quality (Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index), quality of life (RAND Short Form 36), and respiratory dysfunction related to stress and anxiety (Nijmegen Questionnaire).
Results : Sleep quality improved in 71% subjects (9.15±6.87 vs 5.57±3.74, p = 0.0232), 57% improved quality of life (73.45±17.17 vs 84.46±9.27, p = 0.0316), and 71% decreased in adverse respiratory symptoms (11.29±8.38 vs 7.86±6.26, p = 0.0594). Increases were seen in all 8 sub-categories of quality of life, with statistically significant improvements in social functioning (75±28.17 vs 94.64 ±11.62, p = 0.0058), energy and fatigue (48.93±25.21 vs 65.63±19.26, p = 0.0426), emotional wellbeing (66±24.29 vs 85.14±14.16, p = 0.0054, and general health (72.14±15.78 vs 79.64±12.78, p = 0.0497). For sleep quality, subjects with baseline scores defined as clinically disturbed sleep (n=8, 58%) all (100%) experienced sleep improvements (9.14±6.87 vs 5.57±3.74, p = 0.00301), with 25% resolving below clinical delineation.
Conclusions : These findings suggest that novel cooled compression exercise technology may be an effective intervention method to address quality of life and sleep symptoms in veterans. Further investigation is warranted into biologic markers and application in specific clinical populations of insomnia, post-traumatic stress, and depression.
Cristian Torres– Research Coordinator, Vasper Systems, Moffett Field, California
Grove Higgins– Owner/Medial Director, Colorado Springs Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pat Marques– Director of Rehabilitative Exercise Therapy, Colorado Springs Human Performance and Rehabilitation, Colorado Springs, Colorado