Bronchiectasis patients benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation similarly to COPD patients

17 January, 2019

Patients with bronchiectasis benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation to broadly the same extent as patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and show similar completion rates and improvements in exercise and health status outcomes, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

A total of 213 bronchiectasis patients were referred for a supervised, eight-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme as part of standard care. For the study, these patients were matched 1:1 with a control group of COPD patients who also received pulmonary rehabilitation.

The researchers compared completion rates, change in incremental shuttle walk (ISW) distance and change in Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ) score between the matched groups.

The data showed that completion rates were the same in both groups at 74%. Improvements in incremental shuttle walk distance were also similar, at 70 metres among bronchiectasis patients versus 63 metres for COPD patients.

Further, most domains of the CRQ with pulmonary rehabilitation were similar between the bronchiectasis and COPD groups, including for dyspnoea, emotional function and CRQ-Mastery, but improvements in CRQ-Fatigue following pulmonary rehabilitation were more significant in the COPD group.

The authors concluded that patients with bronchiectasis show significant improvements in exercise capacity and health status outcomes following an eight-week outpatient supervised pulmonary rehabilitation programme, and say that patients with bronchiectasis should be referred for pulmonary rehabilitation.