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Efficacy of a respiratory rehabilitation exercise training package in hospitalized elderly patients with acute exacerbation of COPD: a randomized control trial

Authors Liao L, Chen K, Chung W, Chien J

Received 17 June 2015

Accepted for publication 24 July 2015

Published 27 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1703—1709

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S90673

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Hsiao-Chi Chuang

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Lin-Yu Liao,1,2 Kuei-Min Chen,2 Wei-Sheng Chung,3 Jung-Yien Chien4

1Department of Nursing, Chest Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Rende District, Tainan, 2College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Taichung Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taichung, 4Department of Medicine, Chest Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Rende District, Tainan, Taiwan

Clinical trials identifier: NCT02329873
Background: Acute exacerbation (AE) of COPD is characterized by a sudden worsening of COPD symptoms. Previous studies have explored the effectiveness of respiratory rehabilitation for patients with COPD; however, no training program specific to acute exacerbation in elderly patients or unstable periods during hospitalization has been developed.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of a respiratory rehabilitation exercise training package on dyspnea, cough, exercise tolerance, and sputum expectoration among hospitalized elderly patients with AECOPD.
Methods: A randomized control trial was conducted. Pretest and posttest evaluations of 61 elderly inpatients with AECOPD (experimental group n=30; control group n=31) were performed. The experimental group received respiratory rehabilitation exercise training twice a day, 10–30 minutes per session for 4 days. The clinical parameters (dyspnea, cough, exercise tolerance, and sputum expectoration) were assessed at the baseline and at the end of the fourth day.
Results: All participants (median age =70 years, male =60.70%, and peak expiratory flow 140 L) completed the study. In the patients of the experimental group, dyspnea and cough decreased and exercise tolerance and sputum expectoration increased significantly compared with those of the patients in the control group (all P<0.05). Within-group comparisons revealed that the dyspnea, cough, and exercise tolerance significantly improved in the experimental group by the end of the fourth day (all P<0.05).
Conclusion: Results of this study suggest that the respiratory rehabilitation exercise training package reduced symptoms and enhanced the effectiveness of the care of elderly inpatients with AECOPD.

Keywords: COPD, severe early onset, exercise, older adults, respiratory diseases

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