PostUraL tachycardia Syndrome Exercise (PulSE) study
British Heart Foundation
POTS UK, UHCW, UCL, Warwick University
September 2019 - August 2022
A lifestyle intervention designed by people with POTS, for people with POTS.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) can seriously effect well-being and quality of life, due to its many disabling symptoms. The condition mostly (but not only) affects women aged 13 to 50. People with POTS have an abnormal heart rate rise when they stand up, with symptoms including palpitations, dizziness, fainting, and long-lasting fatigue. Attending education, earning a living, and caring for dependants can be severely affected, and the impact on the healthcare system is significant.
Medical treatment is not always effective for POTS, but lifestyle interventions like exercise may help some people. We aim to find out if people with POTS will enrol on, and complete, a supervised exercise programme.
Finalise the pathway to exercise rehabilitation:
People with POTS are not routinely referred for exercise rehabilitation. We will screen all people with POTS attending syncope outpatient clinics at two hospitals during a three-month period. This will allow us to fully understand the clinical pathway from diagnosis and treatment, to exercise rehabilitation. We will refine and finalise screening and recruitment procedures, and the inclusion/exclusion criteria for a randomised feasibility study.
Refine/finalise an exercise rehabilitation intervention:
Building on existing evidence and pilot experience from our centres, we will refine and finalise the Postural Tachycardia Syndrome Exercise (PulSE) intervention and delivery model. Using co-production, we will extensively involve people affected by POTS, and relevant stakeholders, in refining the intervention.
Undertake a randomised feasibility study:
62 participants (31 intervention, 31 control) will be randomised to the PuLSE intervention or usual care. Process-related measures will include eligibility, recruitment, and intervention and outcome measure adherence. Physiological, clinical and health related measures will include the short physical performance battery, increase in heart rate from supine to 10-minute stand, and quality of life.
Conduct a qualitative analysis:
To explore perceptions, opinions, acceptability and experiences of trial procedures, the PuLSE intervention, and outcome measures, we will interview a sample of participants who finish the study, participants who drop-out, and those who declined participation.