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Chest. 2007 Apr;131(4):1068-74.

Effects of a walking aid in COPD patients receiving oxygen therapy.

Author information

1
University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Department of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Ospedale Villa Pineta, Italy, Via Gaiato 127, 41026 Pavullo n/F (MO), USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

To elucidate whether a simple walking aid may improve physical performance in COPD patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency who usually carry their own heavy oxygen canister.

DESIGN:

Randomized crossover trial.

SETTING:

Physiopathology laboratory of three rehabilitation centers.

PATIENTS AND INTERVENTIONS:

We studied 60 stable COPD patients (mean age, 70.6 +/- 7.9 years; FEV(1), 44.8 +/- 14.3% of predicted [+/- SD]) with chronic respiratory insufficiency who randomly performed, on 2 consecutive days, a standardized 6-min walking test using two different modalities: a full-weight oxygen canister transported using a small wheeled cart and pulled by the patient (Aid modality) or full-weight oxygen canister carried on the patient's shoulder (No-Aid modality).

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

The distance walked, peak effort dyspnea, and leg fatigue scores as primary outcomes, and other cardiorespiratory parameters as secondary outcomes were recorded during both tests. A significant difference (p < 0.05) between the two tests occurred for all the measured outcomes in favor of the Aid modality. Most importantly, significant changes for distance (+ 43 m, p < 0.001), peak effort dyspnea (- 2.0 points, p < 0.001), leg fatigue (- 1.4 points, p < 0.001), as well as for mean and nadir oxygen saturation and heart rate with the Aid modality (but not with the No-Aid modality) were recorded in the subgroup of patients walking < 300 m at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that a simple walking aid may be helpful in COPD patients receiving long-term oxygen therapy, particularly in those with lower residual exercise capacity.

PMID:
17426211
DOI:
10.1378/chest.06-2108
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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