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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 32(3)

Reduction in hospitalisation following pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD

Nola Cecins, Elizabeth Geelhoed and Sue C Jenkins

Australian Health Review 32(3) 415 - 422
Published: 2008


Objectives: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) improves exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and reduces health care utilisation. This study quantified outcomes of a PR program over a 6-year period and determined the effects of PR on hospitalisation. Methods: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disesae (COPD) who entered an 8-week outpatient PR program from 1998 to 2003 were included. Functional exercise capacity (6-minute walk distance [6MWD]) and HRQoL (Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire) were measured before and following PR. The number of hospital admissions and total bed-days due to a COPD exacerbation in the 12 months before and following PR were recorded. Setting: Physiotherapy Department, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Western Australia. Results: 187 (73%) of the 256 patients who entered PR completed the program. Improvements in 6MWD (404.2 ±114.6 m to 439.6 ±115.0m, P < 0.001) and HRQoL (4.1 ±0.9 points per item to 4.9 ±0.9 points per item, P < 0.001) occurred following PR. There was a 46% reduction in the number of patients admitted to hospital (71 to 38) with a COPD exacerbation and a 62% reduction in total bed-days (1131 to 432) following PR. Conclusion: Pulmonary rehabilitation provided in an Australian teaching hospital was associated with a reduction in COPD hospitalisation, and the resultant savings outweighed the costs of providing the program.

Full text doi:10.1071/AH080415

© AHHA 2008

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