Exercise performed at home could be a useful therapy for people with chronic kidney disease. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed at describing the characteristics, main findings, methodological quality, and adherence rate reported in the existent randomized controlled trials that have provided information regarding the impact of home-based exercise programs on people with chronic kidney disease.
Electronic databases (MEDLINE/PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Scopus, and CENTRAL) were searched up to April 2021, using the keywords: “Exercise”; “Home”; “Kidney Disease.” Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement was adopted. Jadad scale and Cochrane’s tool were used to assess the methodological quality and risk of bias.
Out of the 14 studies finally selected, 11 were included in the meta-analysis and most presented high methodological quality. The meta-analysis showed significant effects of home-based exercise on fitness and quality of life, but a little impact on renal function. Although exercise performed at home was mostly feasible and safe, adherence was not high and a considerable number of dropouts were observed.
Home-based exercise has positive effects on the fitness’ level and on the quality of life on people with chronic kidney disease. Future studies are needed to identify whether exercise performed at home is a better physical therapy option than center-based exercise.