BACKGROUND: COPD exacerbations are frequent events that have a negative impact on the lives of patients. The aims of this study were to analyze physical and functional impairment during hospital stay in subjects hospitalized due to COPD exacerbation and to assess the physical and functional impact of hospitalization at a 1-month follow-up in patients with severe COPD.
METHODS: This was a prospective observational study on a sample of 52 subjects hospitalized due to COPD exacerbation. The assessments were performed at baseline, discharge, and 1-month follow-up. The outcome measures were dyspnea, muscle strength, functional capacity, and postural steadiness.
RESULTS: Quadriceps strength [1.036 (P = .043) kg mean difference] and the one-leg stance test [1.04 (P = .02) and 0.73 (P = .032) s mean difference right and left leg] showed significant impairment during hospitalization. Dyspnea perception improved significantly (P = .004) during hospitalization. Additionally, strength in the upper and lower limbs [4.04 (P = .002) and 1.23 (P = .038) kg mean difference], functional capacity [3.0 number of steps mean difference (P = .032)], and the one-leg stance test [2.12 (P = .006) and 0.53 (P = .047) s mean difference right and left leg] showed significant impairment 1-month follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalization due to COPD exacerbation leads to physical and functional impairment in patients; impairment is greater at 1-month follow-up. It would be interesting to conduct physical therapy interventions to prevent the impairment.
- Correspondence: Marie Carmen Valenza PhD, Departamento de Fisioterapia Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Av. de la Ilustración s/n 18016 Granada, Spain. E-mail: .
This research was supported by the Professional Association of Physiotherapists of Andalusia, Spain (Colegio Profesional de Fisioterapeutas de Andalucía) (Project SG/0300/13CO) as well as the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) and the Spanish Lung Foundation (Fundación Respira) (SEPAR 2013 grant and Grant 061/2013). It was also jointly funded by Fundación Progreso y Salud (FPS) and Boehringer Ingelheim España, SA (Project PI-0370-2014). Additionally, ITS was supported by the University of Granada through a grant for the training of university teachers (Beca-Contrato FPU Plan propio de investigación. Universidad de Granada). The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. This work is part of a doctoral dissertation (ITS) in the framework of the PhD Program on Clinical Medicine and Public Health of the University of Granada.
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