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HERDIN Record #: PCHRDPC960227 Submitted: 16 May 2007 Modified: 23 January 2013

Reduction of dyspnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Ma. Flordeliza Sanchez ,
Melissa Viado ,
Ma. Encarnita Blanco ,
Percival Punzal

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In developed countries, pulmonary rehabilitation programs for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are established means of enhancing standard medical therapy in order to alleviate shortness of breath and improve the physical function of patients with chronic lung diseases. A structured form of pulmonary rehabilitation program was established by the Philippine Heart Center to achieve this end in our local set up. Fifty-one patients with COPD who guaranteed from the eight-week out-patient rehabilitation program were included in the study. The patients had moderate to severe airway obstruction and reduced exercise tolerance. After competing the comprehensive education and exercise training program involving the upper and lower extremities (upper cycle ergometer, supervised treadmill and home walking programs), there was a significant improvement in terms of reduction of dyspnea and increased exercise tolerance. The pre and post rehabilitation six minute walk test showed a significant increase in the distance (in meters) covered (p 0.001). Likewise, there was also an increase of maximum workload (in MFTs) tolerated during the incremental exercise testing done at the post rehabilitation period (p 0.001). Statistical analysis of the scores from the modified Borg scale used to gauge breathlessness and fatigue post exercise testing did not significantly increase (p 0.05) despite the increase in workload tolerated after completing the program. Utilizing a standardized form of Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (Scores 1-4 denoting increasing severity of dyspnea in the performance of daily activities. After completing the program significant improvements were noted in daily activities like walking on level ground and stair climbing (p 0.001). Fear and anxiety was also significantly decreased (p 0.001). This study showed that a multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation program in the Philippine setting has a very significant role in reducing breathlessness that can lead to improvement of functional capacity and enhancement of the "quality of life" of patients with COPD.

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
Journal of the Philippine Medical Association
Publication Date
July-September 1995