Exercise duration during pulmonary rehabilitation: an index of efficacy

  • Hoda Mojazi Amiri
  • Ryan McClellan
  • Chok Limsuwat
  • Kenneth Nugent
Keywords: exercise, endurance, chronic lung disease, pulmonary rehabilitation, modality


Background: The optimal program for pulmonary rehabilitation likely varies from patient to patient and depends on individual limiting factors. We wanted to determine the typical exercise duration in our patients to use as a basis for modifying individual rehabilitation components.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients who completed the pulmonary rehabilitation program at University Medical Center in Lubbock, TX. We collected demographic, pulmonary function, and 6-minute walk test information. Patients exercised with treadmills, arm ergometers, recumbent stair steppers, and recumbent bicycles; we recorded the initial and follow-up modality duration at four week intervals.
Results: This study included 119 patients with a mean age of 68.8 ± 10.1 years. Most patients (95) had COPD. The mean FEV1 was 1.3 ± 0.7 L 9 (47.2 ± 19.7 % predicted). The baseline gait speed was 41 ± 15 meters per minute. The initial total exercise duration was 30.5 ± 7.0 minutes. These times increased to 41.2 ± 8.8, 44.6 ± 10.7 and 47.0 ± 12.0 minutes at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of rehabilitation.
Conclusions: Most patients increased their total exercise duration to 40 minutes. This goal can identify patients who are not making progress and need alternative strategies and patients who have made good progress and might benefit from additional training, such as lower extremity strength exercises.


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How to Cite
Amiri, H. M., McClellan, R., Limsuwat, C., & Nugent, K. (2013). Exercise duration during pulmonary rehabilitation: an index of efficacy. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 1(4), 3-7. Retrieved from https://pulmonarychronicles.com/index.php/pulmonarychronicles/article/view/99