The Foundation has provided funding for a number of research projects since its inception including the below.
Curtin University and VADs
The Foundation has partnered Curtin University to fund a PhD Scholarship to research the clinical, physiological and psychosocial effects of optimised exercise rehabilitation in patients with ventricular assist devices (VADs).
This project commenced in 2014 and is actively recruiting patients.
Advanced heart failure is characterised by a reduction in the heart’s capacity to pump blood around the body. This can result in high blood pressure in the lungs and damage to organs such as the liver and kidneys. Blood flow to the muscles is also decreased, which leads to a deterioration in the structure and function of the muscle resulting in profound reductions in fitness. Ventricular assist devices (VADs) are implanted in people with advanced heart failure to improve the heart’s output and address the complications of heart failure.
A key objective of a VAD is to improve the functional abilities of the patient and to facilitate their return to routine daily activities. Exercise rehabilitation plays an important role in this and is an essential component of the patient’s overall management. However, very little is known about the mechanisms of how patients with VADs respond to exercise rehabilitation (compared with heart failure patients without VADs) and there are currently no evidence-based guidelines for exercise rehabilitation in VAD patients.
The aims of this study are to:
- Perform a comprehensive evaluation of the physiological and psychosocial effects of exercise rehabilitation in the setting of VAD implantation.
- Refine exercise training protocols to optimise rehabilitation following VAD implantation.
- Track the longer term impact on physical capabilities of exercise rehabilitation in the setting of VADs implantation.