Date of Award

Spring 1981

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Through a review of the literature, aerobic or endurance exercise was explored as a strategy to increase the adaptive capacities of patients with coronary artery disease. Exercise and adaptive capacities were defined within a stress-response framework: Exercise is physical activity which stimulates an increase in functional capacity; adaptive capacities are the abilities of an individual to meet his needs when a stress is interfering with need satisfaction. The abilities of the patient to meet his increased metabolic needs during an acute episode of exercise were quantified during exercise stress testing. Repeated or chronic exercise modified the patient's capacities to adapt to acute exercise. Chronic exercise was shown to produce beneficial changes in the physiological responses through modifications in the cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, hematologic and metabolic systems. The beneficial physiological changes were shown to be produced by controlling the exercise variables of mode, intensity, duration and frequency. Chronic exercise also appeared to have beneficial psychological effects (decreased anxiety and depression levels) that were not adequately validated in the reviewed studies. The nursing role for patients requiring exercise therapy was defined as exercise guidance which encompassed a variety of assessment, teaching and intervention skills.



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