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Original Research: DYSPNEA |

Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Interstitial Lung Disease: Benefits and Predictors of Response

Alicia Ferreira, MD; Chris Garvey, FNP; Gerilynn L. Connors, RRT; Lana Hilling, RCP; Julia Rigler, RRT; Susan Farrell, RRT; Cindy Cayou, RCP; Cyrus Shariat, MD; Harold R. Collard, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine (Drs. Ferreira and Collard), University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; the Department of Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation (Ms. Garvey and Ms. Rigler), Seton Medical Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Daly City, CA; INOVA Fairfax Hospital Lung Health Services (Ms. Connors and Ms. Farrell), Falls Church, VA; John Muir Health Lung Health Services (Ms. Hilling and Ms. Cayou), Concord, CA; and the Department of Medicine (Dr. Shariat), New York University, New York, NY.

Correspondence to: Harold R. Collard, MD, FCCP, Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94610; e-mail: hal.collard@ucsf.edu


The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).


Chest. 2009;135(2):442-447. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1458
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Background:  Data examining the role of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in interstitial lung disease (ILD) are limited. We tested the hypothesis that PR can improve functional status and dyspnea in a large group of patients with ILD, and that certain baseline patient variables can predict this improvement.

Methods:  Data from patients who were referred to PR with a diagnosis of ILD were included. Baseline and post-PR variables were recorded, and changes in 6-min walk test (6MWT) distance and dyspnea were evaluated. The impact of baseline variables on change in 6MWT distance and dyspnea were analyzed.

Results:  A statistically significant difference was seen in both the change in Borg score and 6MWT distance after PR (p < 0.0001). These changes were consistent with previously established clinically significant differences. Baseline 6MWT distance was a significant predictor of change in 6MWT distance (p < 0.0001), with increasing baseline 6MWT distance predicting a smaller improvement after PR.

Conclusions:  These results suggest that PR should be considered as a standard of care for patients with ILD.

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