The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2002 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

DYSPNEA IN THE PULMONARY REHABILITATION PATIENT

Rachel Hawkins, Sally Gardner, Respiratory Therapy Program, Indiana University, Deborah Koehl, BS, RRT, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Manager, Clarian Health, Deborah Cullen, Ed.D., RRT, Director, Respiratory Therapy Program, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana

Background: Given the aging population and an increase of COPD, the rise for pulmonary rehabilitation will continue to swell. COPD has become the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.1 The purpose of this study was to determine whether pulmonary rehabilitation had a positive or negative effect on a patient?s perception of dyspnea. Rehabilitation consisted of exercise, breathing retraining, and patient education. Moreover, this study evaluated the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation based on the patient?s perceptions of dyspnea.

Methods: The sums of the results for each questionnaire were compared pre and post eight weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation using the UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ). The SOBQ is a self-administered survey that asks the individual to rate their dyspnea from 0 to 5 during activities of daily living. According to the authors of the UCSD SOBQ, a reduction in a patient?s score of 5 or more, an indication of positive change, indicated a clinically significant outcome. 2 Data was gathered from blinded charts utilizing a convenience sample of 48 patients from a rehabilitation program located in a regional hospital in the Midwest. All data were entered and analyzed via Microsoft Excel. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for this study.

Results: 67% of patients had a significant positive change indicating a decrease in dyspnea. Of the remaining patients, 8% had a negative result consisting of an additional 5 or more points post questionnaire. The remaining 25% had no significant change. These results were statistically significant at the .05 level (p<.0001).

Conclusion: Pulmonary rehabilitation does have a positive affect on a patient?s perception of dyspnea as measured via the UCSD SOBQ for our hospital-based rehabilitation program participants.

Keywords: pulmonary rehabilitation, dyspnea, shortness of breath, UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire.

 

1 American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Guidelines for pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics, 1993.

2 http://www.atsqol.org/ucsdsobq.htm. January 15, 2002.

OF-02-029

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