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Clinical Investigations: COPD |

A Simple Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Improves Health Outcomes and Reduces Hospital Utilization in Patients With COPD*

Kok P. Hui; Alison B. Hewitt
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine, Changi General Hospital, Singapore.

Correspondence to: Kok P. Hui, BM BS, MD, Department of Medicine, Changi General Hospital, 2 Simei St 3, Singapore 529889



Chest. 2003;124(1):94-97. doi:10.1378/chest.124.1.94
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Study objectives: A prospective longitudinal study to investigate if a simple outpatient-based pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP) can improve health outcome and hospital utilization in patients with COPD.

Patients: Patients with COPD and FEV1 < 60% predicted.

Setting: Outpatient physiotherapy department at a district general hospital (Fairfield Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

Intervention: Completion of a simple PRP.

Results: Thirty-six patients with COPD completed the PRP. Improved exercise endurance (mean ± SD 6-min walking distance increased from 333 ± 76 to 423 ± 107 m [p < 0.001]), reduced dyspnea scale, and improved quality-of-life measurements were found. There was no improvement in lung functions (FEV1 preprogram mean, 0.97 ± 0.43 L; postprogram mean, 0.96 ± 0.42 L). In the 12 months following completion of program, hospitalization and length of stay were reduced compared to prior to starting the program (preprogram, 7.4 days; postprogram, 3.3 days; p < 0.005).

Conclusions: A simple, low-cost, outpatient PRP was able to improve health outcome for patients with COPD. Hospital utilization and health cost were reduced as well.

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