Effects of different physical therapy programs on perceived health status in acute exacerbation of COPD patients

The aim of the study was to evaluate the repercussion of different physical therapy interventions on the perceived health status of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients during acute exacerbation.

Randomized controlled trial. Patients were assigned to: control group (standard medical treatment), controlled breathing + range of motion exercises group or Resistance exercises group. Perceived health status was assessed at baseline and discharge using the EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D) questionnaire. Clinical profile of patients was evaluated at baseline for descriptive purposes.

Ninety patients were randomized into the groups. Perceived health status improved significantly in all groups. Significant differences were found in mobility, self-care and usual activities subscales of EQ-5D and Visual Analogue Scale between control and controlled breathing + range of motion exercises group. Significant differences were found in all variables except pain between control group and Resistance exercises group. Finally, usual care and anxiety/depression subscales of EQ-5D showed significant differences between controlled breathing + range of motion exercises group and Resistance exercises group, the improvements being greater in Resistance exercises group.

Physical therapy added to standard medical treatment of acute exacerbated COPD patients achieves a higher improvement in perceived health status than the prescription of standard medical treatment alone. Implications for Rehabilitation Physical therapy added to standard medical treatment in patients hospitalized due to acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease achieves a higher improvement in the perceived health status than the prescription of standard medical treatment alone. Short duration physical therapy programs added to the standard care appear to be helpful in the management of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

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