Introduction: To date endurance and strength training are established and evidence-based exercise methods in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is an unmet need for further research in new and complementary exercise modalities. Additional whole body vibration training during pulmonary rehabilitation may be such a new approach that has not yet been investigated in patients with COPD.
Methods: Eighty-two patients (65 ± 9 yrs, FEV(1) pred. 38 ± 11%, female 51%) with COPD in GOLD stage III to IV assessed for a 3-week inpatient multidisciplinary rehabilitation program were on top randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups: (1) 3 × 3 min of bilateral dynamic squat exercises on a side-alternating vibration platform at 24-26 Hz three times per week (WBV) and (2) a control group (CON) with the same amount of exercise time without WBV.
Results: Thirty-six patients completed the study in each group. The improvement in 6-min walking distance was significantly higher in the WBV-group when compared to the CON-group (WBV: 64 ± 59 m, CON: 37 ± 52 m with a between-group difference of 27 m [95% CI, 1-53], p = 0.046). The time required for a sit-to-stand test also decreased more markedly in the WBV-group than in the CON-group (WBV: -4.0 ± 4.8 s, CON: -2.0 ± 3.1 s with a between-group difference of -1.9 s [95% CI, -4.0 to 0.1], p = 0.067). Improvements in health-related quality of life were similar in both groups.
Conclusions: WBV training seems to be a promising new exercise modality for patients with COPD and may enhance the effects of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.