Background: Functional exercise capacity has been shown
to be a strong predictor of survival following pulmonary
rehabilitation. This study evaluated whether questionnaire-rated
functional status is also predictive of survival.
and methods: Following pulmonary rehabilitation, patients with
advanced chronic lung disease were evaluated for survival, 6-min walk
distance, and questionnaire-rated functional status. The latter was
measured using the pulmonary functional status scale, which has
subscores of functional activities, psychological status, and dyspnea.
Information on survival was available on 149 patients.
Results: The mean age was 69 years, and 45% of patients
were male. Eighty-nine percent had a diagnosis of COPD, and their
FEV1 was 37 ± 18% of predicted. Ninety-one (61%) were
married. The 3-year survival for the group was 85%. Age, gender, body
mass index, and primary diagnosis were not related to survival.
Variables strongly associated with increased survival following
pulmonary rehabilitation included a higher postrehabilitation
Functional Activities score, a longer postrehabilitation 6-min walk
distance, and being married (vs widowed, single, or divorced). Disease
severity variables associated with survival included an initial
referral to outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation, no supplemental oxygen
requirement, and a higher percent-predicted FEV1.
Conclusion: Indicators of functional status are strong
predictors of survival in patients with advanced lung