Study objectives: To assess the energy spent by COPD patients using or not using energy conservation techniques (ECTs) during activities of daily living (ADL).
Method: The patients were evaluated in two different situations as stated above. For both applications, the following variables were measured during four ADL with or without using postures recommended by ECTs: metabolic (oxygen consumption [V̇o2] and carbon dioxide production [V̇co2]), ventilatory (minute ventilation), cardiovascular (heart rate [HR] and oxygen pulse), and dyspnea (Borg score).
Participants: Sixteen male COPD patients (mean age, 62 years) with moderate-to-very-severe COPD (mean FEV1, 40%) participated in the study.
Measurements and results: The use of ECTs during ADL related to personal hygiene reduced V̇o2 (13.4%), V̇co2 (12.8%), HR (13.7%), and Borg score (1 point) [p < 0.05]. Putting on and taking off shoes did not change V̇o2, V̇co2, and HR but reduced the Borg score (0.6 point) [p < 0.05]. Storing groceries on high shelves reduced V̇o2 (12.2%), V̇co2 (9.9%), HR (5.1%), and Borg score (0.75 point). Storing groceries on low shelves reduced V̇o2 (28.1%), V̇co2 (24.3%), HR (5.4%), and Borg score (0.8 point) [p < 0.05].
Conclusion: The use of energy conservation techniques in COPD patients during ADL reduces energy cost and dyspnea perception.