Whole-body vibration improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a pilot study

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2015 Jan 12;10:125-32. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S73751. eCollection 2015.


Background: Exercise intolerance is a common development in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is little data on the use of an isolated program using vibration platform training on functional capacity in these patients, which is an area that deserves investigation.

Aim: To investigate the effect of training on a vibrating platform (whole-body vibration [WBV]) on functional performance and quality of life of subjects with COPD.

Methods: A randomized controlled crossover pilot study with eleven subjects with COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]% predicted =14.63±11.14; forced vital capacity [FVC]% predicted =48.84±15.21; FEV1/FVC =47.39±11.63) underwent a 12-week WBV training program. Participants were randomized into the intervention group (IG) undergoing three sessions per week for a total of 12 weeks and control group (CG) without intervention. We evaluated the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), distance walked (DW), duration of the walk (TW), and index of perceived exertion (IPE), quality of life using St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and developed a 12-week program of training on a vibrating platform.

Results: The mean age was 62.91±8.82 years old (72.7% male). The DW increased at the end of training with a difference between groups of 75 m; all domains of the SGRQ improved at the end of training. The effect size Cohen's d ranged from small to large for all the measured results.

Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that WBV may potentially be a safe and feasible way to improve functional capacity in the 6MWT of patients with COPD undergoing a training program on the vibrating platform as well as in all domains of the SGRQ quality of life. However, further studies with a larger number of patients are needed to establish the long-term effect on functional capacity and quality of life in these patients.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01649310.

Keywords: SGRQ; exercise tolerance; exercise training; pulmonary rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brazil
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*
  • Vital Capacity
  • Walking

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01649310