Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) showed lasting improvements for up to 2 years in anxiety and quality of life following 8 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, according to study results published in the journal CHEST.
Dyspnea, quality of life, anxiety, and exercise capacity were evaluated in patients with COPD at baseline, after 8 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, and again after 2 years. Dyspnea was measured by the modified Medical Research Council questionnaire, quality of life was measured by the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, anxiety was measured by both the Anxiety Inventory for Respiratory Disease and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and exercise capacity was measured using the Incremental Shuttle Walk Test.
Of the 165 patients with COPD, the mean age was 72 years and 55% were men. Following 8 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation, improvements in dyspnea, quality of life, anxiety, and exercise capacity were all statistically significant (P <.001). However, at the 2-year evaluation, only improvements in anxiety and quality of life remained significant.
“[P]atients with COPD who completed  weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation experienced sustained improvement in anxiety and quality of life for 2 years,” the study authors wrote. “Less dyspnea, symptoms of depression, and anxiety and better exercise capacity at baseline were all associated with the sustained improvement in quality of life.”
Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.
Yohannes AM, Dryden S, Casaburi R, Hanania NA. Long-term benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD patients: a 2-year follow-up study. Published online October 21, 2020. CHEST. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2020.10.032