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Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Mar;52(3):243-8.

Exercise training during rehabilitation of patients with COPD: a current perspective.

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Respiratory Rehabilitation and Respiratory Division, University Hospitals, and Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffer frequently from physiologic and psychological impairments, such as dyspnea, peripheral muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, decreased health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and emotional distress. Rehabilitation programmes have shown to result in significant changes in perceived dyspnea and fatigue, utilisation of healthcare resources, exercise performance and HRQOL. Exercise training, which consists of whole-body exercise training and local resistance training, is the cornerstone of these programmes. Regrettably, the positive effects of respiratory rehabilitation deteriorate over time, especially after short programmes. Hence, attention should be given to the aftercare of these patients to prevent them to revert again to a sedentary lifestyle. On empirical basis three possibilities seem to be clinically feasible: (1) continuous outpatient exercise training; (2) exercise training in a home-based or community-based setting; or (3) exercise training sessions in a group of asthma and COPD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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