Improved quality of life among patients completing a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program: One center's early experience

Shirin Shafazand, James Canfield, Ware G. Kuschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: The conclusion of previous investigations that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is an effective intervention for the management of chronic lung disease may not be generalizable to PR programs with limited experience delivering this complex, interdisciplinary service. OBJECTIVE: Determine whether PR is effective for the first group of patients treated in a newly formed interdisciplinary PR program. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal analysis of changes in health-related quality of life and 6-minute walk test for the first group of patients completing our newly formed 8-week outpatient PR program. We studied 6 men, age 65-77 years, with stable severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Patients completed the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire immediately before and 1 year after participation in our PR program. RESULTS: Four patients completed the PR 6-minute walk test both before and after the program. We found improvement in all Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire domains at follow-up (mean ± SD before and after): dyspnea 1.67 ± 0.82 vs 4.92 ± 0.49; emotional function 2.33 ± 0.82 vs 5.50 ± 0.55; fatigue 2.00 ± 0.63 vs 5.00 ± 0.63; feeling of mastery over disease 1.83 ± 0.41 vs 5.83 ± 1.17. The interval improvements in all health-related quality of life domains were statistically significant (p < 0.02 for all comparisons). There was a trend toward improvement in exercise tolerance: 231 ± 213 ft before PR vs 353 ± 66 ft at the 1-year follow-up (p = 0.2). CONCLUSIONS: PR can result in sustained improvement in the quality of life of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, even when this complex, interdisciplinary service is delivered by a newly formed and inexperienced PR program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-600
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Chronic respiratory disease questionnaire
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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