Study objectives: To determine whether long-term
treatment with exercise therapy results in more favorable,
disease-specific, health-related quality of life (HRQL) compared with
short-term treatment with exercise therapy; and to determine whether
there are gender differences in disease-specific HRQL among individuals
randomized into the two treatment groups.
Randomized clinical trial.
exercise therapy unit at a university.
One hundred forty patients with COPD; 118 completed trial.
Interventions: Short-term exercise therapy (3 months);
long-term exercise therapy (18 months).
Chronic Disease Respiratory Questionnaire (CRQ).
Results: After 3 months of treatment, there were
significant improvements in all CRQ scores for men and women
(p < 0.01), and for the total sample (p < 0.01). At 18 months,
individuals randomized into the long-term group had significantly more
favorable scores than the short-term group for dyspnea (p = 0.03),
fatigue (p < 0.01), emotional function (p = 0.04), and mastery
(p = 0.04). However, these effects were moderated by gender. That is,
men in the long-term group reported significantly more favorable scores
than men in the short-term group for dyspnea (0.04), fatigue
(p < 0.001), emotional function (p = 0.02), and mastery
(p = 0.02). At the 18-month assessment, there were no differences
between long-term and short-term exercise therapy for women on any of
the subscales of the CRQ.
collectively, the CRQ data demonstrate that long-term exercise therapy
has little added benefit for women over short-term exercise therapy;
however, men derive significant benefits from extended