Published: 2009-06-21 15:43:51
Author: Michael Smith | MedPage Today | May 20, 2009
SAN DIEGO, May 20 -- Pulmonary rehabilitation can have a marked effect on quality of life even in patients with less-advanced cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a Dutch researcher said here.
In a two-year randomized trial, an intensive community-based rehab program was both cost-effective and had significant health benefits, according to Annemie Schols, Ph.D., of Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.
Often, such care is aimed at patients with advanced COPD and is delivered in specialized institutions, Dr. Schols said here at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society.
"I think we should shift toward a personalized lifestyle intervention" for less-advanced patients, Dr. Schols told reporters.
In the study, Dr. Schols and colleagues randomized 199 newly diagnosed patients with moderate disease -- defined as a one-second forced expiratory volume of 60% of predicted values -- to usual care or to the rehab program.
The rehab program consisted of four months of exercise training, smoking cessation, nutritional advice, and other support, followed by 20 months of maintenance.