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.