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Chest. 2000 Jul;118(1):106-14.

Results of a home-based training program for patients with COPD.

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Pneumology Department, Virgen del Rocío University Hospital, Seville, Spain.



To have a group of COPD patients undergo a simple program of home-based exercise training, using the shuttle walking test (SWT) to standardize the intensity of training.


Sixty patients participated, randomly distributed into two groups (rehabilitation and control) of 30 patients each. The following evaluations were carried out at baseline and at 12 weeks: (1) pulmonary function studies; (2) SWT; (3) submaximal intensity resistance test; (4) cycle ergometer test; (5) quality of life; and (6) dyspnea. The rehabilitation group underwent a lower-extremity training program. Walking was selected as the type of exercise. The intensity of training was set at 70% of the maximum speed attained on the SWT. Divided sessions were held, lasting 1 h, 6 days/wk, at home, with a checkup every 2 weeks. The duration of the program was 12 weeks.


The following patients completed the study: 20 patients (66.6%) from the rehabilitation group (mean [+/- SD]) age, 64.3 +/- 8.3 years; mean FEV(1), 41.7 +/- 15.6% of predicted); and 17 patients (56.6%) from the control group (mean age, 63.1 +/- 6.9 years; mean FEV(1), 40 +/- 16.4% of predicted). We found no changes in pulmonary function or effort parameters (SWT or cycle ergometer) in the rehabilitation group at 12 weeks. A twofold increase (1,274 +/- 980 to 2,651 +/- 2,056 m; p < 0.001) was achieved in the submaximal intensity resistance test, with less dyspnea at the conclusion of the test (p = 0.05). Significant improvement also was achieved in basal dyspnea and, both statistically and clinically, in the quality of life. Significant changes were not achieved in the control group patients.


A simple home-based program of exercise training achieved improvement in exercise tolerance, posteffort dyspnea, basal dyspnea, and quality of life in COPD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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