Exercise training during rehabilitation of patients with COPD: a current perspective

Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Mar;52(3):243-8. doi: 10.1016/S0738-3991(03)00098-3.


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer frequently from physiologic and psychological impairments, such as dyspnea, peripheral muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and emotional distress. Rehabilitation programmes have shown to result in significant changes in perceived dyspnea and fatigue, utilisation of healthcare resources, exercise performance and HRQOL. Exercise training, which consists of whole-body exercise training and local resistance training, is the cornerstone of these programmes. Regrettably, the positive effects of respiratory rehabilitation deteriorate over time, especially after short programmes. Hence, attention should be given to the aftercare of these patients to prevent them to revert again to a sedentary lifestyle. On empirical basis three possibilities seem to be clinically feasible: (1) continuous outpatient exercise training; (2) exercise training in a home-based or community-based setting; or (3) exercise training sessions in a group of asthma and COPD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / trends
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological