Xiaolan Cao1, #, *, Xiaoli Jiang2, #, Shuping Tong3, Changmei Zhou2, Bi Chen2, *


1Guangzhou Xinhua University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China - 2Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China - 3First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China


Introduction: This study designed and assessed the safety, feasibility, and effectiveness of a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program that is appropriate for hospitalized patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Method: Twenty-four patients with acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) were recruited from 2 wards of the respiratory medicine department of a tertiary hospital, and assigned, respectively, to an experimental group and a control group, with 13 and 11 subjects. Both groups were given routine treatment and care, but only the experimental group participated in a PR program. They compared outcomes were the following indicators: 30-second sit-to-stand test (30-STS); predicted forced expiratory volume in one second; modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale score; Barthel score; and hospitalization duration before and after rehabilitation. Adherence to the exercise training programs, and adverse events, were recorded at the time of hospital discharge.

Results: In each group, at the end of hospitalization all indicators had improved significantly from the baseline, except for unchanged grip strength in the control group. The outcome of the 30-STS of the experimental group was significantly better than that of the control, but otherwise the outcomes between the groups were comparable. Participants in the PR program experienced no associated adverse side effects, and individual adherence fluctuated between 75% and 100% (5/13).

Conclusion: The in-hospital PR program was safe and feasible for patients with AECOPD. The PR program can significantly improve clinical symptoms related to AECOPD, and increase muscle strength, especially for lower limb muscles.


Pulmonary rehabilitation, hospitalization, acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.