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Turk Thorac J. 2020 Mar 1;21(2):110-115. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2019.18202.

Effect of 8-week Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program on Dyspnea and Functional Capacity of Patients on Waiting List for Lung Transplantation.

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Department of Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Health Sciences University, Yedikule Chest Diseases and Chest Surgery Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey.
Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Health Sciences University Faculty of Health Sciences, İstanbul, Turkey.
Department of Chest Diseases, Şişli Memorial Private Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of comprehensive, 8-week outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programme consisting of 60-min sessions twice a week under supervision on dyspnea and exercise capacity of patients who were lung transplantation (LTx) candidates.


Between March 2012 and December 2014, medical data of 23 patients on the waiting list for LTx who were referred to our PR unit and completed 16-session outpatient under direct supervision were retrospectively analyzed. Data on exercise capacity as assessed by 6-minute walking test (6MWT) and the rate of perceived dyspnea as assessed by the Borg scale and Medical Research Council (MRC) dyspnea scale were recorded.


Of 23 patients 57% were males; the mean age was 35±10 (range: 16-48) years. Four patients were operated early, as an appropriate donor was available. Diagnosis was as follows: bronchiectasis (n=10, 44%), silicosis (n=7, 30%), sarcoidosis (n=2, 9%), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n=1, 4%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (n=1, 4%), and others (n=2, 9%). At the end of the program, there was a significant improvement (median: 60 m) in 6MWT scores (360 [70-254] m vs. 300 [139-489] m; p=0.018). In addition, a clinical improvement was observed in Borg (p=0.000) and MRC scores (p=0.008).


Our study results suggest that 8-week outpatient PR programme consisting of training twice a week is effective to decrease perceived dyspnea and to improve exercise capacity in patients who are on the waiting list for LTx.

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