To determine the efficacy of aerobic combined with strength training exercise in the improvement of exercise tolerance and quality of life of mild and moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) patients.
The study was conducted at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit of Veterans Memorial Medical Center. Inclusions are (1) physician diagnosed COPD based on smoking history, cough of 3 months in 2 consecutive years (2) pulmonary function test compatible with COPD (i.e. FEV 1/FVC ratio of less than 70% and bronchodilator response less than 15%) (3) stable patients at the time of entry (4) patients having exercise limitation manifested as shortness of breath or general fatigue. Exclusion criteria are clinical evidence of cardiovascular or neuromuscular diseases.
Nine patients completed the exercise program. Mean age is 71 +/- 7, with seven males and 2 females. Pre-training lung function studies showed mild to moderate airflow obstruction. Anthropometric measurements revealed normal body mass indexes. There were significant increase in the right arm and left thigh circumference with mean difference of 1.3cm +/- 0.32cm and 1.14 cm +/- 0.28 respectively. There was marginal improvement in lung function which is not significant. Six minute walk test improved to 631 m +/- 148 m with significant mean difference of 218 meters post exercise training. Improvement in the quality of life showed significant change in the grading of patients from moderate grade to no impairment at all in performing their activities of daily living.
Aerobic combined with strength training exercise improved patients exercise capacity and tolerance as shown by the change in the six minute walk test and increase in the upper arm extremity circumference. No improvement seen in the pulmonary function test.The greatest benefit is the improvement in the baseline dyspnea index of patients during and after the exercise program.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients can benefit from this combined exercise program. Patients could perform daily activities and even help their households which is a significant reversal from their dependency for care.
Ogee Mer Panlaqui, None.