Effectiveness of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients with COPD


Zunaira Fatima, Areeba Iftikhar and Muhammad Imran Yousaf


Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is beneficial for patients with COPD, with improvement in exercise capacity and health-related quality of life. Despite these overall benefits, the responses to PR vary significantly among different individuals. It is not clear if PR is beneficial for patients with COPD and normal exercise capacity. Although it is believed that longer pulmonary rehabilitation programs can provide better results, most of the evidence comes from short-term programs.

Objective: The objective of this analysis was to determine the effectiveness of respiratory services provided in the hospital or community by respiratory therapists (RTs) in reducing health care utilization and improving patient outcomes. The aim was to evaluate the outcomes of a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Methodology: All 65 Pakistani patients who met the inclusion criteria with ages between 40 to 65 years, including both male and female, with mild to severe COPD were enrolled in the study on the basis of convenient sampling. Informed consent was taken from each patient starting about the study and their rights to withdraw from study. A demographics detail (name, age, sex) was noted along with the necessary medical history. A questionnaire was made to see the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD. All necessary tests were performed to evaluate the patient betterment completely.

Results: The mean FEV1 in the subjects was 1.29 ± 0.47 L/min, 64.8 ± 23.0% of predicted. Clinically there is a little effect on CXR pattern, FEV1 and FEV1/FVC after pulmonary rehabilitation. But overall quality of life improved after pulmonary rehabilitation. Mainly improvement occurs in peak expiratory flow rate, BORG dyspnea scale, 6 mint walk test distance (meters) and Oxygen saturation after rehabilitation.

Conclusion: These results showed that patients with COPD had benefited from a comprehensive PR program in an out-patient setting regardless of disease severity. Exercise training can result in significant improvement in health-related quality of life, exercise capacity, respiratory muscle strength, and exertional dyspnea in subjects with COPD and normal exercise capacity.

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