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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews.

Arm exercise training in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review

Review published: 2009.

Bibliographic details: Janaudis-Ferreira T, Hill K, Goldstein R, Wadell K, Brooks D.  Arm exercise training in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention 2009; 29(5): 277-283. [PubMed: 19935139]

Quality assessment

The authors concluded that arm exercise training programmes could improve arm exercise capacity, but their effect on dyspnoea, arm fatigue, and health-related quality of life was unclear. They acknowledged the limitations of conclusions based on a small number of trials. Their conclusions reflected the evidence presented, but potential methodological flaws in the review process mean that their reliability is unclear. Full critical summary

Abstract

PURPOSE: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often report intolerable dyspnea when they use their arms for simple activities of daily living. Although arm exercise training is recommended in the guidelines for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), there is limited information regarding its impact. Therefore, we undertook a systematic review of studies that have investigated the effects of an arm training program (ATP) on symptoms, exercise capacity, and health-related quality of life.

METHODS: A search of electronic databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), and the Cochrane Library of clinical trials) was complemented by screening the reference lists of pertinent articles to identify appropriate studies. We accepted randomized controlled trials that were written in English, performed in human subjects with COPD, and investigated the effects of an ATP in patients with COPD. Included studies were reviewed by 2 independent investigators who assigned a score out of 10, using the PEDro scale for assessment of study quality.

RESULTS: Of 98 reports, 5 met the study criteria. The mean PEDro score was 6.2 (SD = 1.3). The results of the studies indicate that ATP improves arm exercise capacity, but its effect on dyspnea, arm fatigue, and health-related quality of life is unclear.

CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence to support the use of ATP to improve arm exercise capacity. Larger trials with standardized training methodology and outcomes are required to better understand the optimal training regimen for patients with COPD.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2013 University of York.

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