PURPOSE: -To evaluate short-term effects of pulmonary rehabilitation on pediatric patients.
METHODS: The study included pediatric patients enrolled at a PR program at a tertiary hospital. All subjects performed spirometric studies, 6 minute walk test and incremental symptom limited exercise test using the treadmill. Perceived symptom of breathlessness and fatigue were measured using the Modified Borg Scale. Subjects underwent pulmonary rehabilitation twice a week for 8 weeks. This involved upper and lower body exercises. series of lectures/discussions were conducted by the medical staff.At the end of the program, patients performed post-rehabilitation evaluation with an identical protocol at the beginning of the program.
RESULTS: Sixteen subjects were enrolled. Five dropped out of the study . Eleven subjects completed rehabilitation but only 9 patients had data available for analysis. This included mostly post-operative patients showing no significant difference between baseline and post-rehabilitation spirometric studies. 6 minute walk test showed increase in distance after rehabilitation with improvement in functional status as perceived by reduction in dyspnea.
CONCLUSION: Pulmonary rehabilitation is no longer limited to COPD and asthma. Programs for children are already settling in the hope of extending this to those who are in need of a multidisciplinary continuum of service. Techniques and approaches may vary between adults and children but the goals will always remain the same: to return patients to the highest possible functional capacity allowed by their pulmonary handicap and overall life situation, making them future contributors of society.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation dealing with COPD is available, however, there is little experience in programs dealing with pediatric patients. Our limited experience showed positive impact on exercise capacity, endurance, reduction of shortness of breathlessness and fatigue and knowledge of patients and relatives regarding their disease. It would require a larger population to validate the benefits that can be acquired by the patient. At the same time, promotion of the role of pulmonary rehabilitation in pediatric patients may pave the way into encouraging patients to enroll in the program.
DISCLOSURE: Anjanette de Leon, None.