Table 2:

Evidence for exercise and pulmonary rehabilitation

Study design (year)InterventionPatientsOutcome
Retrospective analysis (2015) (39)3-wk pulmonary rehabilitation programn = 108
-Mean age 71 yr
-Mean FEV1 76% of predicted
Significant improvement in exercise capacity; significant improvement in reported dyspnea Predictors of efficacy: male, FEV1/FVC < 70% and > 2 exacerbations/yr
Randomized single-blind trial (2014) (37)8 wks of exercise training and review of airway clearance technique v. controln = 85
-Minimum of 2 exacerbations/yr
-Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale score ≥ 1
-Mean FEV1 74% of predicted
-Mean age 63–65 yr
Significant improvement in exercise capacity; less reported dyspnea and fatigue; improvement in exercise capacity, reported dyspnea and fatigue was not sustained at follow-up; fewer exacerbations in the subsequent 12 mo with a longer time to first exacerbation
Randomized controlled pilot study (2012) (40)8-wk pulmonary rehabilitation program and twice-daily chest physiotherapy v. twice-daily chest physiotherapyn = 30
-Regularly expectorating sputum
-Limited exercise capacity due to bronchiectasis
-Already practicing chest physiotherapy ≥ x 4/wk
-Mean FEV1 72%–76% of predicted
-Mean age 64 yr
Significant improvement in exercise capacity and HRQL with both pulmonary rehabilitation and chest physiotherapy v. chest physiotherapy alone; no improvements in spirometry, respiratory muscle function or inflammatory markers in either group
Retrospective study (2011) (41)6- or 8-wk pulmonary rehabilitation program v. patients with COPD in same programn = 95
-Mean FEV1 66.5% of predicted (24.2)
-Mean age 68.6 (9.8) yr
Significant improvement in exercise capacity in both groups; significant improvement in HRQL in both groups
Randomized controlled trial (2005) (42)8-wk pulmonary rehabilitation program v. 8-wk pulmonary rehabilitation program and inspiratory muscle training v. controln = 32
-FEV1 64%, 54% and 69% of predicted respectively per group
-Mean age 63.1, 57.3, 62.9 yr respectively per group
Significant improvement in exercise capacity in both intervention groups v. control; improvements sustained only at 3-mo follow-up in the group that also had inspiratory muscle training
  • Note: COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, FEV1 = forced expiratory volume in the first second, FVC = forced vital capacity, HRQL = health-related quality of life.