Evaluation of outcomes of a six-month exercise maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation program in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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Bayliss, Daniel J.
Kaminsky, Leonard A., 1955-
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Thesis (M.S.)
School of Physical Education
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To date, there is a scant amount of research on the long-term benefits of exercise training for individuals with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate standardized outcomes of a six-month maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation program to determine maintenance of functional capacity. Twenty-three subjects (sixteen men, seven women) diagnosed with clinical COPD ages 30-82 (65 + 12 years) participated in the retrospective study. The subjects were referred to an eight-week comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program after which upon twelve subjects continued onto a maintenance program. Eleven subjects chose not to participate in the maintenance program and were given a home exercise program and were encouraged to remain active. Hemodynamic, functional, and educational measures were taken prior to entry, upon completion of the hospital program, and again six-months post-program. Outcome tests were standardized using the Indiana Society of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Outcomes Manual. Significant differences were found between the maintenance and non-maintenance groups for systolic blood pressure in resting, exercise, and recovery measures at six monthsreevaluation. Differences in oxygen saturation were also found to reach significance between the two groups during recovery from the six-minute walk test. Interestingly, duration of exercise was found to be statistically significant between the two groups as well as emergency room visits and physician visits within the last six months. The maintenance group tended to have fewer emergency room and physician visits in addition to having self-reported higher durations of exercise. In conclusion, maintenance pulmonary rehabilitation programs have been shown to maintain physical activity levels for COPD patients and as a result, fewer quality of life consequences specifically the number of hospital admissions and emergency room visits.