Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2010 , Vol 56 , Num 1

The Effect of Short-Term Pulmonary Rehabilitation on Pulmonary Function Tests, Blood Gases, Functional Capacity, Dyspnea, Quality of Life and Psychological Symptoms in Chronic Pulmonary Diseases: A Retrospective Study

Yeşim Kirazlı 1 ,Hale Karapolat 2 ,Alev Gürgün 3 ,Sibel Eyigör 4 ,Pervin Korkmaz Ekren 5
1 Ege Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, İzmir, Türkiye
2 Ege Üniversitesi Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, İzmir, Türkiye
3 Ege Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, İzmir
4 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
5 Ege Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Göğüs Hastalıkları Anabilim Dalı, İzmir, Türkiye

Objective: To establish the efficacy of short-term outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic pulmonary diseases. 

Materials and Methods: Data from 65 outpatients [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD, Group 1, n=44) and non-COPD (Group 2, n=21)] who presented to the rehabilitation center were analyzed retrospectively. Respiratory functions, blood gases, functional capacity (peak oxygen consumption (pVO2), shuttle walk test (SWT), endurance shuttle walk test (ESWT), dyspnea [Medical Research Council (MRC) Dyspnea Scale], quality of life (Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, SGRQ), and psychological symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS) tests before and after an 8-week rehabilitation program were obtained from patients’ medical records.

Results: After the rehabilitation program, a significant improvement in pVO2, ESWT, SGRQ (symptom, activity, impact subscale and the total score), and MRC dyspnea scale (p<0.05) was observed in both groups, compared to the pre-rehabilitation period. In contrast, no significant improvement was observed in either groups following the rehabilitation program with respect to respiratory function tests (ZEV1 (ml,%), ZVK (ml,%), ZEV1/ZVK (%), blood gas measurements (paO2, paCO2, oxygen saturation), SWT, and HADS (p>0.05). On the other hand, in inter-group comparison, the significant low values of ZEV1 and ZEV1/ZVK in the pre-rehabilitation period in Group 1 compared to Group 2, also persisted after rehabilitation (p<0.05). The comparisons regarding the rest of parameters did not reveal any significant difference (p>0.05). 

Conclusion: Outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation improves functional capacity, dyspnea, and quality of life in patients with COPD and non-COPD. Whatever the dyspnea etiology was, a regular exercise program in the rehabilitation unit is recommended for patients with chronic pulmonary diseases. 

Keywords : Pulmonary rehabilitation, quality of life, functional capacity, dyspnea, psychological symptoms