The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COMPREHENSIVE OUTPATIENT PULMONARY REHABILITATION AS AN ADJUNCT TO TREATMENT IN PATIENTS WITH PULMONARY HYPERTENSION: EVALUATING EFFECTS ON SIX MINUTE WALK DISTANCE, DYSPNEA AND QUALITY OF LIFE.

Leonard D. Wittnebel, Marc Chalaby, Jennifer Sikkema-Ortiz, Ruben Restrepo; Respiratory Care, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio,

Background- Pulmonary Hypertension is an insidious disease process resulting in progressive exertional dyspnea and chest pain among symptoms contributing to deterioration of quality of life. The progressive nature of the disease leads to the adoption of a largely sedentary lifestyle, creating a vicious cycle of inactivity, muscle deterioration, and worsening symptoms. While current guidelines primarily advocate for pharmacologic intervention, recent studies have indicated that a clinically supervised exercise regimen can have a significant effect on exercise tolerance, dyspnea, and subjective quality of life. However, no studies to date have evaluated the effects of a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program (CPRP) that includes supervised exercise, respiratory training, patient education, and a psychosocial intervention. This study sought to explore the effects of a CPRP on the Six Minute Walk distance (6MWD), Borg scale dyspnea, and Short Form 36 quality of life (SF-36 QOL) measures in these patients pre- and post-pulmonary rehabilitation. Methods and Results- This study was a retrospective review of existing data from a single, out-patient pulmonary rehabilitation center. It included all patients with a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension that were referred by their physicians for participation (n=8). Each patient received an individualized course of treatment including the aforementioned components tailored to their individual limitations and designed to maximize their physical performance and quality of life. Data was collected regarding outcome measures pre- and post-rehabilitation and evaluated statistically using Wilcoxon signed rank analysis. After completion of the program all three outcomes parameters demonstrated significant changes post- pulmonary rehabilitation: 6MWD (p=.018), Borg scale dyspnea (p=0.017), and SF-36 QOL (p=0.028). Conclusions- This study indicates that a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program could be a valuable addition to treatment for patients with pulmonary hypertension. To fully determine its beneficial effects on exercise tolerance and quality of life, a larger group of subjects need to be evaluated.
Sponsored Research - None
Outcomes Measures Post Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Wilcoxson signed rank analysis (p < 0.05)