Background: A key component in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), the corner stone of which is exercise training.
Aim: This study aims to evaluate the effect of a two-months, home-based PR program with outpatient supervision every two weeks, on exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life (HRQL) using Arabic-translated standardized generic and specific questionnaires in COPD patients recently recovered from acute exacerbation,
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Setting and subjects: A total of 39 COPD patients who recovered from acute exacerbation were randomly allocated either a two-month home-based PR program in addition to standard medical therapy or standard medical therapy alone in the period between July 2008 and March 2009.
Methods: Pulmonary function tests (PFTs), six-minute walk distance (6-MWD) test, Arabic-translated chronic respiratory disease questionnaire-self administered standardized format (CRQ-SAS) and quality of life scale Short Form (SF-36) were compared between 25 patients with moderate to severe COPD who underwent a two-month PR program (group 1) and 14 COPD patients who did not (group 2).
Results: Group 1 showed significant improvement in the 6-MWD, and HRQL scores at two months compared with the usual care patients in group 2 (P less than 0.05). Improvement in both CRQ-SAS and SF-36 scores were statistically significant and comparable in group 1.
Conclusion: The supervised, post discharge, two-month home-based PR program is an effective non pharmacological intervention in the management of stable patients with COPD. The 6-MWD is a simple, inexpensive and safe test to assess physical and functional capabilities among COPD patients. HRQL can be measured in patients with COPD either by disease-specific tools that have been specifically designed for use in patients with respiratory system disorders or by generic HRQL tools that can be used across populations with a variety of medical conditions. The Arabic-translated CRQ-SAS is a new tool for assessment of Arabic-speaking patients with chronic respiratory diseases.
Keywords: Chronic respiratory disease questionnaire - self - administered standardized format; pulmonary rehabilitation; quality of life.