Effects of Home-Based Prescribed Pulmonary Exercise in Patients with Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

As a systemic disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects the respiratory system, inducing restless and exercise dyspnea. It also impacts exercise capacity and forms a vicious circle in which it further aggravates the condition of patients and accelerates disease progression. As a functional holistic exercise, traditional Chinese exercises (TCE) play an important role in the rehabilitation of COPD on the basis of adjusting the breath and performing coordinated movements. This study investigates the effects of prescribed pulmonary exercises that are modified from TCE. These modifications are based on dyspnea and limited exercise capacity, exercise capacity of upper and lower limbs, endurance exercise capacity, and quality of life in stable COPD patients. The goal is to determine the accessibility of these prescribed exercises in COPD rehabilitation. Participants are randomly divided into a non-exercise control group (CG) or prescribed pulmonary exercise group (PG) at a ratio of 1: 1. The PG receives intervention for 60 min twice per day, 7 days a week, for a total of 3 months. The intensity is measured using the Borg category-ratio 10 scale and with a heart-rate monitor. Then, an exercise capacity test and quality of life questionnaire are scheduled at 1 week before and after the formal intervention. After 3 months of intervention, the 30 s arm curl test, 30 s sit-to-stand test, 6 min walking test, and quality of life show significant improvement in COPD patients (p < 0.05). These findings indicate that prescribed pulmonary exercises can be applied as alternative, convenient, and effective home- and community-based exercises for stable COPD patients.