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Original Research: PULMONARY REHABILITATION |

Resistance Arm Training in Patients With COPD: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, MSc; Kylie Hill, PhD; Roger S. Goldstein, MD, FCCP; Priscila Robles-Ribeiro, MSc; Marla K. Beauchamp, MSc, PT; Thomas E. Dolmage, MSc; Karin Wadell, PhD; Dina Brooks, PhD
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Respiratory Medicine (Mss Janaudis-Ferreira, Robles-Ribeiro, and Beauchamp; Drs Hill, Goldstein, and Brooks; and Mr Dolmage), and the Department of Respiratory Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (Mr Dolmage), West Park Healthcare Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada; the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation (Ms Janaudis-Ferreira and Dr Wadell), Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; and the Department of Physical Therapy (Drs Hill, Goldstein, and Brooks) and Medicine (Dr Goldstein), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Correspondence to: Dina Brooks, PhD, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Toronto, 160-500 University Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5G1V7; e-mail: dina.brooks@utoronto.ca


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

Funding/Support: This study was supported by the Ontario Thoracic Society, West Park Healthcare Centre Foundation, Canada Research Chair Program, and the Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation.


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(1):151-158. doi:10.1378/chest.10-1292
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Background:  The study aimed to evaluate the effect of upper extremity resistance training for patients with COPD on dyspnea during activity of daily living (ADL), arm function, arm exercise capacity, muscle strength, and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

Methods:  Patients were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. The intervention group underwent arm resistance training. The control group performed a sham. Both groups exercised three times a week for 6 weeks. Dyspnea during ADL and HRQL were measured using the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRDQ). Arm function and exercise capacity were measured using the 6-min pegboard and ring test (6PBRT) and the unsupported upper limb exercise test (UULEX), respectively. Muscle strength for the biceps, triceps, and anterior and middle deltoids was obtained using an isometric dynamometer.

Results:  Thirty-six patients with COPD (66 ± 9 years) participated in the study. Compared with the control group, the magnitude of change in the intervention group was greater for the 6PBRT (P = .03), UULEX (P = .01), elbow flexion force (P = .01), elbow extension force (P = .02), shoulder flexion force (P = .029), and shoulder abduction force (P = .01). There was no between-group difference in dyspnea during ADL, HRQL, or symptoms during the 6PBRT or UULEX (all P values > .08).

Conclusions:  Resistance-based arm training improved arm function, arm exercise capacity, and muscle strength in patients with COPD. No improvement in dyspnea during ADL, HRQL, or symptoms was demonstrated.

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