Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients with COPD (1)
Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in an increase of strength and endurance of these muscles.’ The effects of IMT on the general exercise capacity of these patients, however, are controversial. Some investigators found an increased exercise capacity after IMT, whereas other studies did not reveal such effects. This bias may be due to an inadequate selection of patients who underwent IMT or to the method and protocol of IMT. Furthermore, the effects of additional IMT during a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program have not been studied yet (to our knowledge). The aim of this study is to investigate whether additional supervised target-flow IMT (TF-IMT) during PR is superior to PR alone in patients with COPD with ventilatory limitation of their exercise capacity in terms of performance of the inspiratory muscles, general exercise capacity, and psychologic symptoms.
Design of the Study
Forty patients with COPD selected because of ventilatory limitation of their exercise capacity participated in a ten-week PR program. Before entering, they were randomly assigned to either receive or not receive additional TF-IMT. Measurements of inspiratory muscle performance, exercise capacity, and psychologic symptoms were made before entering the program, after four weeks, and at the end of the training programs. Informed consent was obtained from all patients. The protocol was approved by the local Ethical Committee.