To determine the impact of exercise training (ExTrain) on dyspnea and quality-of-life in patients with COPD.
125 patients with moderate to severe COPD (%PredFEV1 < 45.9 ±12.5%) were evaluated before and after 16 weeks of ExTrain. Patient assessments included: pulmonary function; 6-minute walk test (6MW), ramp cycle ergometry (CE) and arm ergometry (AE) with dyspnea measured using Borg scores, the Chronic Respiratory Disease questionnaire (CRQ) and Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ).
Following ExTrain, work performance was significantly increased for CE, AE and 6MW (p < .0001) without a corresponding change in pulmonary function (p > .05). The mean improvement in CRQ dyspnea was 7.00 ± 5.76 (p < .0001) while the SOBQ was unchanged (p > .05). Other dimensions of the CRQ improved including: emotional function (4.5 ± 6.3, p < .0001); fatigue (4.1 ± 4.1, p < .0001); mastery (3.1 ± 3.5, p < .0001) and total CRQ score (20.0 ± 15.9, p < .0001). Borg scores at peak exercise decreased for CE (–0.95 ± 2.8 units, p <.003); AE (-0.8 ± 2.6 units, p < .02) and 6MW (-0.5 ± 2.3 units, p < .05) even though total work was increased. Borg scores for CE and AE at isotime also demonstrated significant improvement: CE (– 1.4 ± 2.0, p < .0001), AE (– 1.0 ± 2.1, p < .0001).CONCLUSIONS: ExTrain in COPD patients improves upper & lower extremity work performance and leads to a reduction in dyspnea and general improvement in quality-of-life. There is a lack of correlation among the instruments used suggesting that dyspnea needs to be assessed from different functionality perspectives. Further, studies are needed to clarify these differences.
ExTrain improves function, decreases dyspnea and improves HRQOL thus, enabling COPD patients to function better and cope with their disease.
R. Carter, None.