PURPOSE: Exercise training is an important component of pulmonary rehabilitation, but it remains questionable as how training intensity changes patient-centered outcomes. The effects of two aerobic exercise training intensities in health-related quality of life, symptoms control and exercise tolerance in COPD patients were studied.
METHODS: Thirty-four COPD patients (mild-moderate n=17; severe-very severe n=17) were randomly assigned to a 60% or 80% aerobic exercise training intensity in a twenty-session outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program. Patient-centered outcomes were assessed with St.George's respiratory questionnaire, Mahler dyspnoea index, London chest activity of daily living, six minute walk test, constant work rate test and maximal incremental test.
RESULTS: There were no differences in mean change in St.George's respiratory questionnaire (p=0,306), Mahler dyspnoea index (p=0,378), London chest activity of daily living (p=0,917), six-minute walk test (p=0,504), constant work rate test (p=0,504) and maximal incremental test (p=0,117), as an effect of aerobic exercise training intensity of 60% or 80%. Although age was inversely associated with pre and post rehabilitation constant work rate and six-minute walk test, there was no association with mean changes.
CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that there are no differences in the mean changes in health-related quality of life, symptoms control and exercise tolerance in COPD patients as an effect of two aerobic exercise training intensities.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Therefore, individually tailored exercised intensities above 60% should guide clinical practice in pulmonary rehabilitation.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Catarina Santos, Joana Santos, Luisa Morais, Fatima Rodrigues, Cristina Barbara
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