The effect of strength training on functional fitness in older patients with chronic lung disease enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation

Rehabil Nurs. 2008 May-Jun;33(3):91-7. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2008.tb00211.x.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a strength training-enhanced program and a traditional pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program on functional fitness (FF) in older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), using the Senior Fitness Test. Twenty patients were recruited from an outpatient PR program. After completing baseline measures, including muscular strength and the Senior Fitness Test, patients were randomly assigned to the strength training program (TR+ST, n = 10) or traditional PR program (TR, n = 10). Patients completed 16 exercise sessions that were conducted twice a week for 8-10 weeks, after which patients repeated outcome measurements. Independent t tests were conducted to determine whether groups differed between measures. Both the TR+ST and TR groups improved on all FF measures. Moderate effect sizes were found for two of the FF measures when the groups were compared. The addition of strength training to PR may have a favorable impact on FF in older patients with COPD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Arizona
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Muscle Strength
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*