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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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The Effect of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Mountain Environment on Exercise Capacity and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Chronic Bronchitis

Anna Kubincová, Peter Takáč, Lucia Kendrová, Pavol Joppa, Wioletta Mikuľáková

(Department of Physical Medicine, Balneology and Medical Rehabilitation, Medical Faculty of P. J. Šafárik University and L. Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, Košice, Slovakia)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR6375-6386

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909777

BACKGROUND: We aimed to test the effectiveness of the pulmonary rehabilitation in a mountain environment on the pulmonary function, physical performance, dyspnea, affective factors, and quality of life (QoL) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis (CB), as well as to determine predictors of clinical improvement.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: 128 consecutive patients (90 diagnosed with COPD and 38 diagnosed with CB) underwent comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation for a duration of 3 weeks in one of 3 mountain health resorts in the High Tatras. The examination included spirometry (FEV1 and FEV1/FVC), 6-minute walk test (6MWT), Borg scale of dyspnea, and assessment of depression (Zung score), anxiety (Beck score), and QoL using the SF-36 scales.
RESULTS: After the study intervention, all patients in both monitored groups demonstrated significant improvements in objective measurements in which large treatment effect was achieved (for FEV1 η²=0.218, for 6MWT η²=0.771). Similarly, in subjective measurements a large effect was achieved (for the Beck score: η²=0.599, for the Zung score: η²=0.536). QoL improved after the intervention in all the monitored SF-36 scales in both groups (P<0.001 for all). In patients with COPD, the improvement of exercise capacity was positively correlated with baseline 6MWT and FEV1, and negatively with the Beck anxiety score and the Borg dyspnea score, whereas, only improvement in the mental summary component of QoL was negatively correlated with baseline 6MWT and FEV1 (P<0.05 for all).
CONCLUSIONS: Rehabilitation in a mountain environment has proven to be effective in both the reported diagnoses of COPD and CB. Improvements in both functional and subjective indicators were observed. These findings support the use of this treatment modality.

Keywords: Bronchitis, Chronic, Climatotherapy, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Quality of Life

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