Occupational therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation of disabled COPD patients

  • Lorenzi C
  • Cilione C
  • Rizzardi R
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: Occupational therapy (OT) has been defined as a task of rehabilitation for disabled patients, giving them maximal function and independence to sustain specific activities of daily living. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of OT as an adjunctive measuring during pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) of hospitalized COPD patients. METHODS: A prospective clinical trial with parallel groups was undertaken in severely disabled COPD patients (n = 71, age 73 +/- 5 years). They were assigned to either OT+PR (n = 47, FEV1 46 +/- 21%pred.) or PR (n = 24, FEV1 44 +/- 12%pred.). PR consisted of eighteen 3-hour daily sessions, whilst OT (domestic activities) was added 3 times a week up to nine 1-hour sessions. Six-min walk (6MWD) with evaluation of BORG dyspnea (D) and leg fatigue (F) scores at end of effort, breathlessness sensation (B) by means of the MRC scale as well as the number of functions lost in the Basic Activity of Daily Living (BADL) categories were assessed as outcomes before (T0) and after (T1) rehabilitation. RESULTS: 6MWD (from 165 +/- 63 to 233 +/- 66 and from 187 +/- 52 to 234 +/- 65 m in the OT+PR and PR groups, respectively), D (from 4.9 +/- 2.1 to 3.2 +/- 1.6 and from 5.3 +/- 2.1 to 3.4 +/- 2.1), F (from 6.1 +/- 0.5 to 4.5 +/- 1.7 and from 5.9 +/- 0.8 to 4.3 +/- 0.8) and B (from 4.3 +/- 0.9 to 3.0 +/- 0.9 and from 4.2 +/- 1.0 to 3.2 +/- 0.8) had similarly improved (p < 0.01) in both groups at T1. The percentage distribution of patients across the BADL categories significantly changed (p = 0.004) in OT+PR (from 17 to 61%, from 70 to 34% and from 23 to 5% in categories A, B and C, respectively) but not in the PR group. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of OT to comprehensive PR is able to specifically improve the outcome of severely disabled COPD inpatients.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activity of daily living
  • Disability
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

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  • Cristina M. Lorenzi

  • Carmela Cilione

  • Roberta Rizzardi

  • Vittoria Furino

  • Tommasina Bellantone

  • Daniela Lugli

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