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Pulmonary Rehab Lowers Hospitalizations for Chronic Respiratory Disease

December 13, 2018

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory diseases who underwent pulmonary rehab experienced improved exercise capacity and quality of life as well as lower rates of emergency admissions and hospitalizations a year afterward. Researchers published their findings online in the Turkish Thoracic Journal.

The retrospective cohort study looked at hospitalizations and other data for 51 patients, 73% of whom had COPD and 27% of whom had other chronic respiratory diseases, such as bronchiectasis, interstitial lung disease, and kyphoscoliosis. Researchers compared the year before and after pulmonary rehab, which occurred 2 days a week over 8 weeks.

After pulmonary rehab, patients showed significantly improved exercise capacity, as demonstrated by incremental shuttle walk test (ISWT) and endurance test scores. In addition, they showed significantly improvements in Modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) scores and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) anxiety and depression scores.

Patients with COPD showed significant differences in ISWT, COPD assessment test, mMRC, and SGRQ scores after pulmonary rehab, researchers reported. Emergency admissions and hospitalizations decreased significantly, while FEV1% of COPD increased significantly after pulmonary rehab.

“Considering the cost of hospitalization,” researchers concluded, “it is important to add pulmonary rehab to the management of patients with chronic respiratory diseases, in addition to medical therapy.”

Jolynn Tumolo


Özmen İ, Yıldırım E, Öztürk M, et al. Pulmonary rehabilitation reduces emergency admission and hospitalization rates of patients with chronic respiratory diseases. Turkish Thoracic Journal. 2018 September 13;[Epub ahead of print].

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