Early pulmonary rehabilitation for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
thesisposted on 09.10.2014, 11:48 by Neil James Greening
Exacerbations are key events in the natural history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with limited recovery of physical performance, and the highest cause of readmission in the UK. This thesis explores the impact of exacerbations in COPD and chronic respiratory disease. In the first study I have investigated the effects of an early rehabilitation intervention on healthcare utilisation, strength and exercise capacity by conducting a large randomised control trial. Using a sub-group of this cohort I have then explored factors that predict hospital readmission. Finally I have conducted a study of single leg neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in stable COPD, alongside a resistance training group. No difference was seen following early rehabilitation in hospitalisation, healthcare utilisation or physical performance. A number of unexpected findings were noted, including an increase in 12 month mortality in the intervention group and large functional recovery in the usual care group. Using multivariate analysis three risk factors for hospital readmission were identified, including quadriceps cross sectional area, using ultrasound. In the stable state NMES was seen to significantly increase muscle mass from baseline, comparable to changes seen using resistance training. In summary early rehabilitation in chronic respiratory disease does not impact on future hospitalisation. Identification of those with rehabilitation potential is required as the hospitalised population represent a frail group, with advanced disease.