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Whole-body vibration improves functional capacity and quality of life in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a pilot study

Authors Braz Junior D, Dornelas de Andrade A, Sales Teixeira A, Amorim Cavalcanti C, Morais A, Marinho PE

Received 4 September 2014

Accepted for publication 5 November 2014

Published 12 January 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 125—132

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S73751

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Donato S Braz Júnior, Arméle Dornelas de Andrade, Andrei S Teixeira, Cléssyo A Cavalcanti, André B Morais, Patrícia EM Marinho

Department of Physical Therapy, Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Laboratory, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil

Background: Exercise intolerance is a common development in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is little data on the use of an isolated program using vibration platform training on functional capacity in these patients, which is an area that deserves investigation.
Aim: To investigate the effect of training on a vibrating platform (whole-body vibration [WBV]) on functional performance and quality of life of subjects with COPD.
Methods: A randomized controlled crossover pilot study with eleven subjects with COPD (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]% predicted =14.63±11.14; forced vital capacity [FVC]% predicted =48.84±15.21; FEV1/FVC =47.39±11.63) underwent a 12-week WBV training program. Participants were randomized into the intervention group (IG) undergoing three sessions per week for a total of 12 weeks and control group (CG) without intervention. We evaluated the 6-minute walk test (6MWT), distance walked (DW), duration of the walk (TW), and index of perceived exertion (IPE), quality of life using St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and developed a 12-week program of training on a vibrating platform.
Results: The mean age was 62.91±8.82 years old (72.7% male). The DW increased at the end of training with a difference between groups of 75 m; all domains of the SGRQ improved at the end of training. The effect size Cohen’s d ranged from small to large for all the measured results.
Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that WBV may potentially be a safe and feasible way to improve functional capacity in the 6MWT of patients with COPD undergoing a training program on the vibrating platform as well as in all domains of the SGRQ quality of life. However, further studies with a larger number of patients are needed to establish the long-term effect on functional capacity and quality of life in these patients.

Keywords: pulmonary rehabilitation, exercise training, exercise tolerance, SGRQ

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