Exercise, education, and quality of life in lung transplant candidates

J D Manzetti, L A Hoffman, S M Sereika, F C Sciurba, B P Griffith
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 1994, 13 (2): 297-305
In addition to improved functional ability, patients who complete rehabilitation programs typically have positive psychologic changes, including increased motivation and an enhanced quality of life. Potentially, patients with end-stage lung disease awaiting a lung transplant can have similar benefits. However, no studies were identified that examined the impact of an exercise program on quality of life in patients awaiting lung transplantation. This pilot study was an initial step toward evaluating outcomes of a health maintenance program on exercise tolerance and quality of life. Subjects were nine lung transplant candidates who met lung transplant listing criteria and who were randomized to participate in a 6-week health maintenance program consisting of education alone or education plus exercise. Subjects completed cardiopulmonary exercise testing, a 6-minute walk, and the Quality of Well-being scale, Quality of Life Index, and Symptom Frequency/Symptom Distress scale before and after completion of the program. No significant between-group changes were seen. Quality of Well-being scores (p < 0.005) and 6-minute walk distance (p < 0.03) improved over time in both groups. Findings suggest that patients awaiting lung transplantation perceived improved quality of well-being and increased walk distance after participation in a health maintenance program. Education plus exercise conferred no benefits beyond those achieved by education alone. However, the number of subjects studied was small and duration of follow-up was limited.

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