Introduction. The aim of the study was to determine the effect of personality-oriented physical rehabilitation programs on the heart rate variability in women with post-mastectomy syndrome.
Methods. The following methods were applied: theoretical analysis of scientific and methodologic literature data, heart rate variability analysis, and mathematical statistical methods. The subjects of the study were 50 women with late symptoms of post-mastectomy syndrome. The study was conducted during the ambulatory rehabilitation stage after Madden radical mastectomy. All the indicators of the heart rate variability were equivalent in the main and comparison groups at the beginning of rehabilitation. The impact of training was examined every 6 months over the course of a year.
Results. Measurements were taken three times: at the beginning of rehabilitation and after 6 and 12 months. It was found that most of the investigated parameters of heart rate variability in both groups steadily improved during the year of rehabilitation. The average values of stress index and amplitude of mode after 12 months of rehabilitation were lower in the main group than in the comparison group but the values of the standard deviation of normal-to-normal intervals and the very low-frequency component of the spectrum were better by 6.48 ms (p < 0.05) and 203.29 ms2 (p < 0.05), respectively.
Conclusions. The personality-oriented programs of physical rehabilitation were effective in augmenting heart rate variability and restoring autonomic balance in patients with post-mastectomy syndrome.
Key words: heart rate variability, breast cancer, physical rehabilitation