Evolution of functional capacity and health status two years after a pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

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BACKGROUND: Pulmonary rehabilitation programs (PRP) have been shown to improve exercise capacity and health status and to reduce dyspnoea and use of healthcare resources, in patients with chronic lung disease. These benefits usually wane after the programs conclusion. AIM: Evaluate functional capacity and health status 2 years after the end of a PRP. METHODS: Retrospective study of patients who took part in PRP. After PRP, patients who reported a physically active lifestyle were included in the active group (AG). The other patients were considered as the control group (CG). Functional capacity was evaluated with 6minute walk distance (6MWD) and health status with St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were included, 24 in the AG and 8 in the CG. Immediately after PRP, there was a significant improvement in the 6MWD and SGRQ global score, for both groups. After completing PRP, in the AG, there was a decline in the mean 6MWD when evaluated at 6 months, 1 and 2 years and also in health status. However, after 2 years, the AG continued to show an average improvement of 32 m (p=0.03) in the 6MWD and at least 4 points in SGRQ compared to pre-PRP, while in the CG, there was a clinically significant decline in 6MWD (-34 m) and SGRQ score (13 points worse). CONCLUSION: Despite the progressive decline of benefits gained after completing PRP, in the AG these are still significantly positive after 2 years. An active lifestyle seems to help maintain the benefits of the Rehabilitation Program.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)217-225
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Pneumologia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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