Does pulmonary rehabilitation decrease COPD admissions?

January 01, 0001

Does pulmonary rehabilitation decrease COPD admissions?

COPD is a common illness that can result in frequent hospitalization. These British investigators sought to determine whether outpatient post-exacerbation pulmonary rehabilitation (PEPR) reduced hospital readmission rates. They randomized patients admitted to hospital for a COPD exacerbation to receive either PEPR after discharge or usual follow-up care (UC). Emergency room visits and subsequent hospitalizations for COPD exacerbations were recorded over a 3-month period and analyzed on an intention- to-treat basis.

The authors report: "60 patients underwent concealed randomisation at the time of their hospital discharge (UC: n=30, mean age 65 years, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) 52 (22) percent predicted, PEPR: n=30, 67 years, 52 percent predicted). The proportion of patients re-admitted to hospital with an exacerbation was 33 percent in the UC group compared with 7 percent in those receiving PEPR (OR 0.15). The proportion of patients that experienced an exacerbation resulting in an unplanned hospital attendance (either admission or review and discharge from the emergency department) was 57 percent in the UC group and 27 percent in those receiving PEPR (OR 0.28)."

The authors concluded: "Post-exacerbation rehabilitation in COPD can reduce re-exacerbation events that require admission or hospital attendance over a 3-month period."

This study suggests there may be a role for pulmonary rehabilitation following admissions for COPD exacerbations.

For the full abstract, click here.

Thorax 65(5):423-428, May 2010
© 2010 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Thoracic Society
Outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation following acute exacerbations of COPD. John M Seymour, Lauren Moore, Caroline J Jolley et al. Correspondence to John Seymour: [email protected]

Category: R. Respiratory. Keywords: COPD, pulmonary rehabilitation, admission, emergency room, acute exacerbation, randomized controlled trial,, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 29 June 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.