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Disabil Rehabil. 2007 Nov 30;29(22):1671-8.

Daily functioning of dyspnea, self-esteem and physical self in patients with moderate COPD before, during and after a first inpatient rehabilitation program.

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University of Montpellier I, UFR STAPS, Laboratory JE 2416 Engineering of Symbolic Processes for Sport and Health, Montpellier, France.



Inpatient rehabilitation improves dyspnea and increases self-esteem between admission and discharge in patients with moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some researchers nevertheless argue that the changes may be due to nursing effects and thus that scores will decrease quickly at home after discharge. This study assessed the change in dyspnea, self-esteem and physical self mean scores and stability in patients with moderate COPD during three consecutive four-week periods: at home, during an inpatient rehabilitation program, and again at home post-discharge.


Twenty-three consecutive patients [63.9 years (SD 6.6)] with moderate COPD [FEV1 = 55.8% (SD 13.2)] were included. The participants responded to the Physical Self Inventory and rated dyspnea using a visual analogue scale twice a day. Exercise tolerance was assessed with the six-minute walk test (6MWT) at admission and discharge.


6MWT performance improved between admission and discharge [452.3 m. (SD 74.0) vs. 503.3 m. (SD 80.4), p < 0.001]. Dyspnea ratings improved (p < 0.001), as did the self-esteem and physical self scores between the two home periods (p < 0.001). The group showed less instability (SD and range) in their assessments of physical self-worth at home post-discharge compared to pre-admission (p < 0.01). Before rehabilitation, the correlation coefficients between dyspnea, and self-esteem, the perceptions of physical condition and attractive body were all significant. After rehabilitation, the coefficients between dyspnea, and perceived physical condition, physical strength and sport competence were significant (p < 0.05).


The results suggest that a first rehabilitation program increases the mean physical self scores in patients with moderate COPD and decreases their instability; the program also improves dyspnea. However, the impact of rehabilitation was greater on specific perceptions of physical abilities than on the global self-esteem. Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these changes, which were probably due to rehabilitation program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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