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Respir Med. 2006 Jan;100(1):130-9.

Two different training programmes for patients with COPD: a randomised study with 1-year follow-up.

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Department of Medical sciences: Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Ing. 40, 2 tr., Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala University, SE-751 85 Uppsala, Sweden.



To compare the effects on exercise capacity and health related quality of life (HRQoL) of two exercise programmes; one programme including endurance training and one including only resistance training and callisthenics. A second purpose was to find out whether the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affected the training response and whether the interventions had a long-term effect.


Sixty-three patients were stratified according to severity of COPD and randomised to two training groups. Group A had a mixed programme including endurance training. Group B had resistance training and callisthenics. All trained twice weekly for 8 weeks. A symptom-limited ergometer test, 12-min walking test, dynamic spirometry, blood gas analysis at rest and HRQoL were measured before and after the training period. Follow-up tests were conducted at 6 and 12 months after training.


Forty-two patients fulfilled the trial. In group A (n=20) peak exercise capacity increased by 7W (P<0.001) and 12-min walking distance (12MWD) by 50 m (P<0.01), whereas group B (n=22) did not change in any of these variables. HRQoL did not change significantly in either group. Training response was similar in patients with moderate and severe disease. One year post-training 12MWD had returned to pre-training level in group A, and below pre-training level in group B (P<0.05).


Exercise capacity in patients with severe and moderate COPD improved by intensive endurance training, two sessions a week for 8 weeks. The improvement was however small and HRQoL did not improve. Severity of illness did not affect response to training. The results indicated that the effects of a short endurance training intervention slowed down decline in baseline functional exercise capacity for 1 year.

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