Effects of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme on physiologic and psychosocial outcomes in patients with chronic respiratory disorders

Ann Acad Med Singap. 2001 Jan;30(1):15-21.


Introduction: The purpose of this prospective study is to determine the effects of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme (PRP) conducted at our centre for patients with chronic lung disease.

Materials and methods: Thirty-four patients (27 men and 7 women, mean age 67.7 years) with predominantly moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (31 patients), bronchiectasis (2 patients) and interstitial lung disease (1 patient) completed a 6-week outpatient PRP that included education, physical and respiratory care instruction and supervised exercise training. Outcome assessment was performed at baseline, on completion of PRP and 3 months after PRP. Physiologic measures included pulmonary function, incremental exercise and 6-minute walk tests (6MWTs). Disease-specific quality of life was assessed using the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRDQ).

Results: There was no significant change in resting spirometry or lung volumes after PRP. Maximal oxygen uptake and work-rate improved significantly after PRP by 132.4 mL kg-1 min-1 and 10.7 W, respectively. 6MWT distance improved significantly by a mean of 67.3 m (P < 0.0001). Maximum Borg dyspnoea scores decreased significantly by 1.2 +/- 0.5 (P < 0.038). All domains of the CRDQ completed by a sub-group of patients improved significantly and the total scores increased by a mean of 21.7 points at the end of the PRP. The improvements gained in maximal exercise capacity immediately following PRP were maintained in 17 patients who returned for repeat assessment 3 months after PRP.

Conclusion: Patients who completed a comprehensive PRP at our centre showed significant increase in functional capacity, reduction of exertional dyspnoea and improvement in health status.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / psychology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome