Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), following an acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been found effective in some studies in reducing readmission rates as and has recently been recommended by the PR guidelines. However, very recent reports suggested that PR is not feasible after a hospital admission for a COPD exacerbation. The objective of this study is to investigate the knowledge gap on the underlying reasons for nonparticipation in PR in the posthospitalization period. We qualitatively analyzed the responses of 531 patients hospitalized for a COPD exacerbation who were not interested in participating in either PR (home or center based) or physical activity monitoring program after being discharged from the hospital. The responses were coded thematically, and independent reviewers compiled the raw data into themes. The characteristics of the 531 subjects (45% male) who declined the intervention are as follows: age was 70 ± 10 years, mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1%) predicted 40 ± 16, and age, dyspnea, and airflow obstruction index 6.0 ± 1.6 (scale 0-10). The themes for not attending include lack of interest (39%), the perception of "being too ill or frail or disabled" (24%), the perception of being "too busy or having too much to do" (11%), distance or the need of travel (11%), commitment issues (7%), comorbidities (6%), and lack of social support (2%). We identified barriers for PR or just physical activity programs after a hospitalization that may affect implementation of such programs. Implementing posthospitalizations program in COPD may require patient engagement and mindful and compassionate professionals who may individualize program components to focus specific deficits and particularly patients' preferences.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01058486.
Keywords: COPD exacerbations; emphysema exercise; palliative care; pulmonary rehabilitation.
© The Author(s) 2014.