Maintaining benefits following pulmonary rehabilitation: a randomised controlled trial

L M Spencer, J A Alison, Z J McKeough
European Respiratory Journal 2010, 35 (3): 571-7
The aim of this study was to determine if weekly, supervised, outpatient-based exercise plus unsupervised home exercise following an 8-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme would maintain functional exercise capacity and quality of life at 12 months better than standard care of unsupervised home exercise training. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) subjects completed an 8-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme, were randomised to an intervention group (IG) of weekly, supervised, exercise plus home exercise or to a control group (CG) of unsupervised home exercise and followed for 12 months. Outcome measurements at baseline (after pulmonary rehabilitation), and 3, 6 and 12 months included the 6-min walk test and St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). 59 subjects with moderate COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease stage II) were recruited and 48 subjects completed the study. 12-month mean difference showed no significant change from baseline in 6-min walk distance (IG -11 m, 95% CI -21-10 m; CG -6 m, 95% CI -34-11 m) or total SGRQ score (IG 3, 95% CI -0.8-7; CG -3, 95% CI -7-3). 12 months following pulmonary rehabilitation both weekly, supervised, outpatient-based exercise plus unsupervised home exercise and standard care of unsupervised home exercise successfully maintained 6-min walk distance and quality of life in subjects with moderate COPD.

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