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Organ Transplant Recipients’ Physical Trainability and Fitness Testing  

Tuesday, July 12, Part 1 at 09.00 - 12.00

Tuesday, July 12, Part 2 at 13.00 - 16.00

Chairperson: Professor Heikki Tikkanen (University of Eastern Finland)

Exercise tests are commonly used in clinical practice for both functional and diagnostic assessments. In athletes exercise tests are used to evaluate performance capacity, to build up individual training programs and to follow if the training has been effective. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPX) measures a broad range of variables related to cardiorespiratory function with the goal of quantitatively linking metabolic, cardiovascular and pulmonary responses to exercise.  

In this seminar common variables of cardiopulmonary exercise testing measures are reviewed both in health and disease in order to get insight to transplant recipients exercise capacity and exercise training.  First it is vital to know normal cardiopulmonary and metabolic responses to exercise and to know effects of exercise training on these responses.  Secondly, transplant recipients frequently have had and/or may have multiple medical conditions that may influence their responses to exercise and exercise training. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of coexistent conditions on exercise responses and individual performance capacity. In addition, examples of transplant recipient’s exercise performances and exercise training programs are presented and discussed in this seminar.


  • 09.00 Words of welcome
  • 09.15 Heikki Tikkanen: "Introduction to organ transplant recipients’ physical trainability and fitness testing"
  • 10.30 Break
  • 11.25 Discussion
  • 12.00 Lunch
  • 13.00 Heikki Tikkanen: Opening of second part
  • 14.00 Coffee break
  • 15.20 - 16.00 Discussion & summary


From Passive Patient to Active Participant

Wednesday, July 13 at 09.00 - 12.00

Chairpersons: Dr. David Howe (University of Loughborough, UK) and MSc. Kwok Ng (University of Jyväskylä)

Being a recipient of an organ transplant can transforms a person’s life. Following organ transplantation, recipients often face new routines and challenges such as regular medical check-ups, laboratory tests, anti-rejection medication as well as the need to remain healthy. This can mean drastic lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol is transplantation to place in adulthood. Healthy living including eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise is important is the recipient is going to make the most out of life. However, in the early days post-surgery, the body can be weak and needs time to recover.

In this workshop, there are four presentations, offering different perspectives on the theme of ‘from passive patient to active participant’ of transplant recipients. The first presentation by Kwok Ng aims to introduce the audience to the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The second presentation by Roberto Cacciola gives the perspective from a transplant surgeon. This is followed by a presentation by Lesley-Ann Pace who is a parent of a child who received a liver transplant. The final presentation is by Liz Schick, a transplant recipient who has led an adventure camp for children who have been through the process of organ transplantation.

It is hoped that this workshop will make people reflect upon the transition from simple recipient to an active member of society. Amongst this informative collection of presentations there will be opportunities for discussion and debate to help us work together to improve the transition from passive patient to active participant.


  • 09.00 Introduction
  • 10.05 Discussion
  • 10.20 Break
  • 12.00 Lunch


Physical activity and transplantation: Towards common guidelines

Wednesday, July 13 at 13.00 - 16.00

Chairpersons: Professor Emeritus Esko Mälkiä (University of Jyväskylä) and Senior Lecturer Mikko Julin (Laurea University of Applied Sciences)

Physical activity (PA) is a behavior that requires bodily movements resulting in energy expenditure. Therefore, physical activity is often defined as any bodily movement produced by contraction of skeletal muscle that substantially increases energy expenditure. Exercise training is a promising, but unproven intervention for improving the cardiovascular outcomes of solid organ transplant recipients. The role of physical activity, exercise training, and education in further improving physical activity levels needs to be further explored among transplant recipients.

Physical activity can be monitored in many ways. When assessing PA, the aim is to identify the frequency, duration, intensity, and types of behaviors (movements) performing during a period of time. The physical activity assessment period can vary from few minutes to many hours and even to a lifetime depending on the tools used. Ultimately the goal of PA assessment is to identify an optimal dose for reducing health risks and enhancing capacity to perform activities in good life and to customize exercise prescription for the individual.

The objectives of this workshop are to introduce and to discuss the possibilities of different physical activity assessment methods among transplant recipients. Also, physical activity prescriptions and studies for solid organ transplant recipients are introduced and discussed in this workshop.


  • 13.00 Introduction
  • 14.00 Coffee break
  • 15.30-16.00 Discussion & summary