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Clinical Investigations: COPD |

Gender Moderates the Effects of Exercise Therapy on Health-Related Quality of Life Among COPD Patients*

Capri Gabrielle Foy, PhD; W. Jack Rejeski, PhD; Michael J. Berry, PhD; Daniel Zaccaro, MS; C. Mark Woodard, MS, MHA, MBA
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: *From the Department of Health and Exercise Science (Drs. Foy, Rejeski, Berry, and Mr. Woodward), Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; and the Department of Biostatistics (Mr. Zaccaro), Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC. ,  Drs. Foy and Rejeski contributed equally to the preparation of this article.

Correspondence to: W. Jack Rejeski, PhD, Department of Health and Exercise Science, PO Box 7868, Winston-Salem, NC 27109



Chest. 2001;119(1):70-76. doi:10.1378/chest.119.1.70
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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.

Design: Randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Center-based exercise therapy unit at a university.

Participants: One hundred forty patients with COPD; 118 completed trial.

Interventions: Short-term exercise therapy (3 months); long-term exercise therapy (18 months).

Measurements: 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.

Conclusions: Taken 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 training.

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