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Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often involves the cardiopulmonary dysfunction that deteriorates health-related quality of life (HRQL) and exercise capacity. Work efficiency (WE) indicates the efficiency of overall oxygen consumption (VO2) during exercise. This study investigated whether different WEs have different effects on pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Methods: Forty-five patients with stable COPD were scheduled for PR. The PR programs consisted of twice-weekly sessions for three months. These patients were comprehensively evaluated by cardiopulmonary exercise testing and COPD assessment test (CAT) before and after PR. We compared these parameters between patients with a normal versus poor WE. Results: Twenty-one patients had a normal WE and twenty-four patients had a poor WE (<8.6 mL/min/watt). Patients with a poor WE had earlier anaerobic metabolism, a poorer oxygen pulse, lower exercise capacity, more exertional dyspnea, and a poorer HRQL than those with a normal WE. PR improved exercise capacity, HRQL, anaerobic threshold, exertional dyspnea and leg fatigue in patients with either normal or poor WE. However, significant improvement of WE, oxygen pulse, respiratory frequency (Rf) during exercise, chest tightness, activity and sleepiness by CAT were noted only in patients with a poor WE. Among the patients with a poor WE, 29% patients had WE returned to normal after PR. Conclusion: Patients with different WE had different responses to PR. PR improved exercise capacity and HRQL regardless of a normal or poor WE. However, WE, oxygen pulse, Rf during exercise, chest tightness, activity and sleepiness were only improved in patients with a poor WE.
Jao, L. Y., Hsieh, P. C., Wu, Y. K., Yang, M. C., Wu, C. W., Lee, C., … Lan, C. C. (2022). Different Responses to Pulmonary Rehabilitation in COPD Patients with Different Work Efficiencies. International Journal of COPD, 17, 931–947. https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S356608