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6-minute walk distance, COPD, exercise, heart failure, randomized clinical trial, rehabilitation



  1. Steele, Bonnie G. ARNP, PhD


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare functional capacity and daily activity between two exercise rehabilitation interventions in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) over 6 months. Secondarily, we compared intervention groups on symptoms, depression, quality of life, and cardiopulmonary function.


Design/Methods: Ninety patients with severe COPD (n = 63) or HFrEF (n = 27) were randomized to either an exercise adherence intervention or standard cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Patients were 65-year-old male veterans who had either severe COPD (FEV1 < 50% predicted) or HFrEF (EF% < 40%).


Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention groups or COPD or HfrEF groups on functional capacity, daily activity, symptoms, depression, quality of life, or cardiopulmonary function at 6 months.


Conclusion: In late-stage COPD and HFrEF, functional capacity is not improved with rehabilitation interventions.


Clinical Relevance: In severe COPD and heart failure, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation conducted at home or in the outpatient setting was not beneficial.