1. Igarashi, Ai PT
  2. Iwanami, Yuji PT
  3. Sugino, Keishi MD, PhD
  4. Gocho, Kyoko MD
  5. Homma, Sakae MD, PhD
  6. Ebihara, Satoru MD, PhD


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program and the use of 6-min walk distance (6MWD), expressed as a percentage of the predicted value (%6MWD), to quantify response to PR in elderly patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD).


Methods: This was a prospective, nonrandomized controlled study. Forty eligible patients with stable ILD (>=65 y old) were advised to attend an outpatient PR program for 3 mo. Thirteen patients completed the PR program and formed the PR group. Ten patients who did not attend the PR program were evaluated after 3 mo and formed the control group. Patients in the PR group underwent a comprehensive 3-mo hospital-based outpatient PR program, consisting of educational support and supervised exercise training, and attended the rehabilitation unit weekly.


Results: Change in the absolute 6MWD ([DELTA]6MWD) in the PR group was not significantly different compared with the control group (P = .062). Change in %6MWD ([DELTA]%6MWD) was greater in the PR group than in the control group. Baseline 6MWD was not correlated with [DELTA]6MWD, but baseline %6MWD was significantly correlated with [DELTA]6MWD and [DELTA]%6MWD.


Conclusion: PR had a beneficial effect on elderly patients with ILD in terms of exercise endurance. %6MWD might be more useful than the absolute 6MWD as an outcome measure of PR and as a predictor of response to PR in elderly patients with ILD.