Study objectives: The purpose of this study was to
evaluate the effects of a 3-week comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation
program on quality of life as measured by the Short Form-36 (SF-36) in
patients with COPD.
Design and setting: We report on
the outcomes of 37 consecutive patients referred for pulmonary
rehabilitation at a respiratory specialty medical center.
Patients: Thirty-seven patients (mean age, 66 years) with
COPD and severe airflow limitation (mean ± SE FEV1,
29.6 ± 1.8% of predicted) were studied.
Interventions: Rehabilitation consisted of a 3-week
pulmonary rehabilitation program incorporating 12 exercise sessions,
each of which included bicycle ergometer exercise training,
upper-extremity training, strength training, and stretching, along with
psychosocial counseling and education.
results: The Health Status Index (SF-36) and 6-min walk test were
completed before and after rehabilitation. There was an improvement in
five of the nine quality-of-life subscales of the SF-36 following
pulmonary rehabilitation. Although there was an improvement in
functional capacity as measured by the 6-min walk, there was no
correlation between improvement in quality of life and improvement in
functional capacity. There was no correlation between FEV1
and improvement in walk distance, but there was a correlation between
FEV1 and improvement in SF-36 physical function and
quality of life assessed by the SF-36, a general measure of quality of
life, improves following an intensive 3-week pulmonary rehabilitation
program. Use of the SF-36 allows comparison of the results of pulmonary
rehabilitation to therapeutic interventions in patients with other