Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the
effect of target-flow inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on respiratory
muscle function, exercise performance, dyspnea, and health-related
quality of life (HRQL) in patients with COPD.
methods: Twenty patients with severe COPD were randomly assigned
to a training group (group T) or to a control group (group C) following
a double-blind procedure. Patients in group T (n = 10) trained
with 60 to 70% maximal sustained inspiratory pressure (SIPmax) as a
training load, and those in group C (n = 10) received no training.
Group T trained at home for 30 min daily, 6 days a week for 6
Measurements: The measurements performed
included spirometry, SIPmax, inspiratory muscle strength, and exercise
capacity, which included maximal oxygen uptake
(V̇o2), and minute ventilation
(V̇e). Exercise performance was evaluated by the
distance walked in the shuttle walking test (SWT). Changes in dyspnea
and HRQL also were measured.
Results: Results showed
significant increases in SIPmax, maximal inspiratory pressure, and SWT
only in group T (p < 0.003, p < 0.003, and p < 0.001,
respectively), with significant differences after 6 months between the
two groups (p < 0.003, p < 0.003, and p < 0.05, respectively).
The levels of V̇o2 and
V̇e did not change in either group. The values for
transitional dyspnea index and HRQL improved in group T at 6 months in
comparison with group C (p < 0.003 and p < 0.003,
Conclusions: We conclude that targeted
IMT relieves dyspnea, increases the capacity to walk, and improves HRQL
in COPD patients.