Objective: To determine the feasibility of distractive auditory stimuli (DAS) used during an upper extremity training (UET) program on perceived dyspnea, functional performance, and health-related quality of life. In addition, to determine the appropriate music tempo used during the UET.
Design: Experimental, randomized, 3-group design with testing at baseline and 4 weeks.
Patients: Thirty patients (13 male and 17 female) with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (FEV1 41.27% +/- 18% predicted).
Intervention: Moderate DAS group (n = 10) and slow DAS group (n = 10) subjects were instructed to perform UET for up to 15 minutes 3 to 5 times a week using DAS (walkman, audiocassettes). The control group (n = 10) received the same instructions, but no DAS.
Measures and results: Primary outcome measures were perceived dyspnea, functional performance using the 6-minute peg and ring board (6MRPB) count and health-related quality of life. In addition, all subjects recorded the time of UET performance using self-report (daily logs). A significant increase was seen in 6MRPB count (P = .002) between groups. Moderate DAS subjects increased 6MPRB count 46 +/- 21 rings and slow DAS subjects increased 46 +/- 20 rings from baseline to 4 weeks whereas control subjects increased only 5 +/- 4 rings. No significant differences were noted for the remaining variables.
Conclusion: Subjects who used DAS (music) while performing UET improved functional performance whereas controls failed to continue improvement. The DAS is a feasible adjunct to UET that may have the potential to augment the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation training.