Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Cardiopulmonary and muscular effects of different doses of high-intensity physical training in substance use disorder patients: study protocol for a block allocated controlled endurance and strength training trial in an inpatient setting
  1. Henrik Loe1,
  2. Mats Peder Mosti1,2,
  3. Ulrik Wisløff3,
  4. Carolin Haberstroh1,
  5. Grete Flemmen1
  1. 1Department of Research and Development, Clinic of Substance use and Addicition Medicine, St Olavs Hospital Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
  2. 2Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  3. 3Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Henrik Loe; henrik.loe{at}


Introduction Patients with substance use disorder (SUD) have high prevalence of lifestyle-related comorbidities. Physical exercise is known to yield substantial prophylactic impact on disease and premature mortality, and there seems to be an inverse association between physical fitness and adverse health outcomes. High-intensity training is regarded as most effective for improving physical fitness, but less is known concerning the ideal training dose necessary to achieve clinically relevant effects in these patients. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of low-dose and high-dose, high-intensity training, on physical fitness in patients diagnosed with SUD.

Methods and analysis This study will recruit 40 in-patients of mixed genders, aged 18–70 years. Participants will be block allocated to low-dose or high-dose training, encompassing 24 high-intensity interval and maximal strength training sessions (3/week × 8 weeks). After a 10 min warm-up, the low-dose group will perform 1×4 min intervals at ⁓90% of maximal heart rate and 2×4 repetitions strength training at ⁓90% of 1 repetition maximum. The high-dose group will perform 4×4 min intervals at ⁓90% of maximal heart rate and 4×4 repetitions strength training at ⁓90% of 1 repetition maximum. Clinical measurements and physical tests will be conducted at baseline, midway and on completion and a questionnaire on physical activity will be administered at baseline.

Ethics and dissemination This protocol is in accordance with the Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials statement. All participants will sign a written informed consent. The Regional Committee of Medical Research Ethics, Norway has approved the study. A study of this kind is warranted, and the results will be published in an open access journal to ensure public access, and presented at national and international conferences.

Trial registration number NCT04065334.

  • Substance misuse
  • Preventive medicine
  • Public health

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @UWisloff

  • Contributors All authors meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship. HL, MPM, UW, CH and GF were involved in study concept and design. The manuscript was drafted by HL and revised critically for important intellectual content by MPM, UW, CH and GF. The final draft was approved by all authors. All authors agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work related to the accuracy and integrity, and that all parts of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. HL and GF will have access to the final dataset. There is currently no agreement of limited access for other involved investigators.

  • Funding This work is supported by Ekstrastiftelsen Helse og Rehabilitering (Stiftelsen DAM) grant number 2019/FO235306.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

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