COVID-19 studies are our top priority.

For new and updated trial submissions, we are processing trials as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience. We recommend submitting your trial for registration at the same time as ethics submission.

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been endorsed by the ANZCTR. Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and refer to this information for consumers
Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Aquatic versus land based exercise for patients with chronic heart failure to improve exercise capacity, postural stability and quality of life.
Scientific title
Aquatic versus land based exercise for patients with chronic heart failure to improve exercise capacity, postural stability and quality of life.
Secondary ID [1] 253117 0
no secondary ID
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Chronic Heart Failure 260922 0
Condition category
Condition code
Cardiovascular 258825 258825 0 0
Other cardiovascular diseases
Physical Medicine / Rehabilitation 259078 259078 0 0

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Participants will be allocated into Group A (6-weeks aquatic exercise) or Group B (6-weeks land exercise) first. Participants will undertake both exercise blocks with a washout period of 1 week in between. Both the aquatic and land – based exercise interventions will involve one session per week, lasting 60 minutes, for 6 weeks.
Exercise sessions for both the land and water based interventions will be conducted as per current evidence for exercise and chronic heart failure and the land programme will reflect that currently conducted at each trial site. As such, both programmes will include a warm up and cool down period of 10 minutes duration, as well as a combination of upper limb and lower limb aerobic and resistance activities. Each session will also include 10 minutes of balance activities. Exercise intensity will be similar in both the land and water based programmes (9-13 on the Borg scale), ensuring that the only difference between the 2 groups is the type of exercise performed (ie water versus land).
Intervention code [1] 257638 0
Intervention code [2] 257818 0
Treatment: Other
Comparator / control treatment
Water versus land exercise
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 259934 0
Six minute walk test - change in walking distance
Timepoint [1] 259934 0
baseline, 6 weeks, 13 weeks
Secondary outcome [1] 268840 0
Balance outcome- using the Balance Outcome Measure for Elder Rehabilitation (BOOMER)

The BOOMER is a global measure of standing balance incorporating 4 commonly used balance tests including: the Timed Up and Go test (TUG), functional reach test (FRT), step test and the static standing with eyes closed test. Results from tests are combined to provide a single score for each individual.
Timepoint [1] 268840 0
baseline, 6 weeks, 13 weeks
Secondary outcome [2] 268841 0
Quality of Life - using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLWHFQ)
Timepoint [2] 268841 0
baseline, 6 weeks, 13 weeks

Key inclusion criteria
Patients with stable CHF who have attended a disease specific heart failure rehabilitation programme
live locally
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
100 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
decompensated CHF
deemed unsafe to exercise according to ACSM guidelines
VO2peak <15 mls/kg/min
active infection
skin breakdown/ open wounds
skin sensitivity to chemicals
heat sensitive condition (eg MS) or acute inflammatory condition
urinary or faecal incontinence

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Potential participants who have completed the 12 week multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme and who are deemed eligible to participate in the project will be approached by the programme staff and informed about the trial.

Usual care for these patients entails referral to a community based exercise programme, prescription of a home based exercise programme or an invitation to continue at the hospital for an additional 12 weeks of maintenance exercise. As such, participation in this project will have no impact upon usual care.

Those participants who express an interest in participating in the project to the programme staff, will then be approached by the Principle Investigator at each trial site and provided with the PICF and consent form.

Consenting individuals will be randomly allocated by concealed opaque envelope method into the order in which they will undertake the two therapy blocks, i.e. either AB or BA. Randomisation will be done by a co-investigator not involved in recruitment or delivery of the intervention.
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
Randomization will be conducted using a computer random number generator program.
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis

Recruitment status
Not yet recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 3467 0

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 258093 0
Self funded/Unfunded
Name [1] 258093 0
Address [1] 258093 0
Country [1] 258093 0
Primary sponsor type
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
C/- Heart Failure Service
Level 3, James Mayne Building
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Butterfield St
Herston 4029
Secondary sponsor category [1] 257273 0
Name [1] 257273 0
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Address [1] 257273 0
C/- Physiotherapy Dept
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Ipswich Rd,
Woolloongabba 4102
Country [1] 257273 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 260087 0
Gold Coast Health Service District Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 260087 0
Gold Coast HREC
C/- Gold Coast Hospital
Nerang St
Southport 4215
Ethics committee country [1] 260087 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 260087 0
Approval date [1] 260087 0
Ethics approval number [1] 260087 0

Brief summary
The proposed project is a crossover prospective design study which aims to:
1.) compare hydrotherapy versus land based exercise for patients with CHF with respect to functional capacity and quality of life.
2.) measure cardiac function during immersion and exercise in water in this patient group.

Patients will be recruited through the Heart Failure Services at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hosptal (RBWH) and Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). Patients will only be eligible if they have stable CHF and have successfully completed a hospital based, disease specific rehabilitation programme. Patients will be enrolled over a 6 month period and will be randomly selected into one of 2 intervention groups. All individuals will attend an exercise session once per week for 12 weeks which will include 6 weeks of land based exercise and 6 weeks of water based exercise. Whilst some will commence in the land based programme to be followed by the water based programme, the second intervention group will commence in the water based programme followed by the land based programme.

Participants will undertake an assessment on 3 occasions: before starting, after the first 6 weeks and at completion of the 12 weeks. During each assessment a number of measures will be collected. These include exercise capacity using a submaximal walking test, grip strength using a hand held dynamometer and 4 balance tests. Participants will also be asked to complete a survey regarding their perception of water based exercise.

In a small subgroup of 10 patients, cardiac function will be measured on 1 occasion. This will be done using a portable echo machine and measures will be completed in 3 positions which include: standing outside of the pool, and standing waist deep in the pool prior to and at the completion of the exercise session.

To date, no studies have compared aquatic therapy versus land based maintenance exercise in patients with CHF. If shown to be at least equally effective as traditional maintenance exercise, this may provide patients with a valid alternative that is more accomodating for those with musculoskeletal or balance issues that normally hinder land based exercise. This study will inform clinical practice and will provide valuable pilot data that will enable our research team to participate in more comprehensive trials in the future.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 31930 0
Address 31930 0
Country 31930 0
Phone 31930 0
Fax 31930 0
Email 31930 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 15177 0
Julie Adsett
Address 15177 0
C/- Heart Failure Service
Royal Brisbane and Women's hospital
Level 3 James Mayne Building
Butterfield St
Herston 4029
Country 15177 0
Phone 15177 0
+61 7 3636 0286
Fax 15177 0
Email 15177 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 6105 0
Julie Adsett
Address 6105 0
C/- Heart Failure Service
Royal Brisbane and Women's hospital
Level 3 James Mayne Building
Butterfield St
Herston 4029
Country 6105 0
Phone 6105 0
+61 7 3636 0286
Fax 6105 0
Email 6105 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
No Results