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Purpose: To compare changes in functional exercise capacity, dyspnea, functional status, and depression in patients after 8 weeks (24 sessions) and 12 weeks (36 sessions) of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: A prospective sample of 31 participants in our PR program completed outcome measures prior to and during the eighth and twelfth weeks of the program. The 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and a stairs climbing test (ST) measured functional exercise capacity. Perceived dyspnea (PD) was measured with a 6-20 scale. The Pulmonary Function Status Scale (PFSS) measured functional status, and the Cardiac Depression Scale (CDS) measured depression. Results : Statistically significant improvements were seen in the 6MWT, PD during 6MWT, and ST after 8 weeks and after 12 weeks of PR, but the improvements between 8 and 12 weeks were small and not statistically significant. After 8 weeks, PFSS total scores suggested increased difficulty carrying out daily tasks that moderated by 12 weeks. CDS scores showed modest, but not statistically significant improvements, after 8 and 12 weeks. Conclusion : Statistically significant and clinically important improvements in 6MWT, ST, and dyspnea occur after 8 weeks and 12 weeks of PR, but the changes between 8 and 12 weeks were not large enough to be statistically significant or clinically important. Neither 8 nor 12 weeks was sufficient to produce statistically significant changes in functional status and depression.


Article originally published in the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal ( Hasegawa K, Riley MA, Fillyaw M, Tepfer BD. A comparison of outcomes after 8 and 12 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation. Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal. 2005; 16(3): 10-6.

Shared by permission from the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal.

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