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Physical fitness training for stroke survivors (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Tiê Parma Yamato1,
  2. Leanne Hassett1,2
  1. 1Musculoskeletal Health Sydney, School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Discipline of Physiotherapy, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tiê Parma Yamato, Musculoskeletal Health Sydney, School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, PO Box M179 Missenden Road, NSW 2050; tie.yamato{at}

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Saunders DH, Sanderson M, Hayes S, et al. Physical fitness training for stroke patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016; Issue 3: CD003316.


Loss of cardiorespiratory fitness is a common secondary impairment frequently observed in people after stroke, resulting from a combination of primary impairments such as muscle weakness and decreased physical activity.1 Low fitness is likely to restrict return to life role participation.2 Physical fitness training programmes are often prescribed to address loss of fitness and involve either cardiorespiratory training, resistance training or mixed training which combines both.


The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of physical fitness training in reducing death, dependence and disability after stroke. The secondary aims included evaluating the effects of physical fitness training on mobility, physical fitness, quality of life, mood and cognitive function.

Searches and inclusion criteria

Eleven electronic databases and four trial registry platforms were searched up to February 2015, and included randomised controlled trials that examined the effects of cardiorespiratory, resistance or mixed training. The review included adult stroke survivors who were suitable for fitness training.


The intervention groups included cardiorespiratory training (eg, treadmill walking, cycle …

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  • Contributors TPY and LH selected the systematic review, interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding TPY is supported by CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), Brazil.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.