Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 9 » Issue 1

Reduction of exacerbation frequency in patients with COPD after participation in a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program

Authors van Ranst D, Stoop WA, Meijer J, Otten HJ, van de Port IG

Received 17 June 2014

Accepted for publication 31 July 2014

Published 3 October 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1059—1067


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

D van Ranst, WA Stoop, JW Meijer, HJ Otten, IG van de Port

Revant, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center "Schoondonck," Breda, the Netherlands

Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is an important treatment option for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients and might contribute to a reduction in exacerbation and exacerbation-related hospitalization rate.
Methods: In this prospective study, all COPD patients that completed a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP) between June 2006 and December 2012 were included. Self-reported exacerbation and hospitalization frequency 1 year before PR was retrospectively recorded. During the year following PR, exacerbation and hospitalization frequency was recorded with questionnaires.
Results: For 343 patients, complete information on exacerbation and hospitalization rate was obtained. The mean number of exacerbations decreased significantly after participating in a PRP by 1.37 exacerbations/year (95% confidence interval 1.029 to 1.717) from 4.56±3.26 exacerbations in the year preceding PR to 3.18±2.53 in the year following PR (P<0.0005). The number of hospitalizations due to exacerbations decreased significantly by 0.68 hospitalizations/year (95% confidence interval 0.467 to 0.903) from 1.48±1.84 in the year preceding PR to 0.80±1.31 hospitalizations/year in the year following PR (P<0.0005). The proportion of patients with a frequent exacerbation type (more than two exacerbations/year) was reduced by 24%. Multivariate regression analysis to explore determinants that might predict reduction in exacerbation frequency or change in exacerbation pattern did not reveal clinically useful predictors, although patients with more exacerbations before PR had the highest potential for reduction.
Conclusion: In a large population of severely impaired COPD patients with high exacerbation rates, a significant reduction in exacerbation and hospitalization frequency was observed after participation in a comprehensive PRP.

Keywords: health status, health care utilization, hospitalization, disease management, self-management

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]