The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Yen-Huey Chen1,3, Hui-Ling Lin1, Gwo-Hwa Wan1, Chung-Chi Huang2,1; 1Department of Respiratory Therapy, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan; 2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan; 3Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan

BACKGROUND Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) induced impaired pulmonary function, decreased muscle strength, and reduced quality of life for patients after hospitalization. The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) after discharging from hospital in COPD are well recognized. However, most reports have focused on the effects of longer-lasting PR program with durations longer than 8 weeks while little is known about the effects of short-term program (<=4 weeks). The objective of the study was to evaluate a 4-week outpatient PR program on pulmonary function and quality of life in patients with COPD. METHODS This is a prospective design study which was approved by our local institutional review board. Patients with diagnosis of COPD were recruited from an outpatient department to participate a PR program 2 sessions per week for 4 weeks. The program included exercise training, breathing training, and patient education. Pulmonary function, level of dyspnea (Borg scale) and health-related quality of life (Medical Outcome Study 36-item short-form survey, SF-36) were assessed at entry and completion of the PR program. Data analysis was performed with SPSS software (version 18.0). Descriptive data was presented as means ± standard deviation. For non-parametric distributed variables, a Wilcoxon test was used for within-group comparisons. RESULTS Twelve patients with a Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) stage of III-IV (mean (SD) age 63.6(6.3) years, mean (SD) FEV1 29.99(4.49%) of predicted) completed the PR programs. There were no statistically significant differences in FEV1% predicted, FEV1/FVC% and total SF-36 scores between pre- and post- completion of PR program. However, the post-PR domains of SF-36 subscores of Role Emotion (57.5 vs 37.5 p=.041) and Mental Health (62.5 vs 35.7, p=0.039) were significantly higher than baseline measurement. CONCLUSION A 4-week outpatient rehabilitation program did not improve pulmonary function, but lead to improvement of psychological aspects, especially in role emotion and mental health dimension of quality of life in patients with severe COPD. Whether such PR program can provide additional benefits such as reduction of re-hospitalization rates in COPD patients may require further larger scale studies. Sponsored Research - None Table1. The changes in the physical and mental summary scores in all subscores of the SF-36 before and after PR program.