Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Experimental, quasi-experimental and before-and-after study designs were eligible for inclusion.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies evaluating cardiac rehabilitation or chronic exercise programmes of at least 4 weeks' duration were eligible for inclusion. The majority of the included studies were of multi-factor interventions; there were also a small number of exercise only interventions.
Participants included in the review
Studies of people with coronary heart disease, or who were recovering from a cardiac event or surgery, were eligible for inclusion. Details of the participants in the included studies were not provided.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies assessing energy or fatigue before and during or after the intervention were eligible for inclusion. Studies where the timing of the outcome assessment might have been confounded by the transient effects of an acute exercise bout were excluded, as were studies measuring vital exhaustion. The majority of the included studies used the vitality subscale of the SF36. The vigour and vitality subscales of the Profile of Mood States (POMS), the Beck Depression Inventory fatigue subscale and the Nottingham Health Profile were also used.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.