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COPD, dyspnea, exercise, health-related quality of life, physical functioning, self-management



  1. Carrieri-Kohlman, Virginia RN, DNSc, FAAN
  2. Nguyen, Huong Q. RN, PhD
  3. Donesky-Cuenco, DorAnne RN, PhD
  4. Demir-Deviren, Sibel MD
  5. Neuhaus, John PhD
  6. Stulbarg, Michael S. MD


PURPOSE: To evaluate the differences in the long-term outcomes of dyspnea, exercise performance, health-related quality of life, and health resource utilization following a dyspnea self-management program with 3 different "doses" of supervised exercise.


PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a prospective, randomized, single-blind, 1-year trial, patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (N = 103; age 66 +/- 8, females 57; FEV1 44.8% +/- 14% predicted) were randomly assigned to either: (1) Dyspnea self-management program (DM); (2) DM plus 4 supervised exercise sessions (DM-exposure); or (3) DM plus 24 supervised exercise sessions (DM-training). The dyspnea self-management program included individualized education and demonstration of dyspnea self-management strategies, an individualized home walking prescription, and biweekly nurse telephone calls. Outcomes were measured at baseline and every 2 months for 1 year.


RESULTS: The DM-training group had significantly greater improvements in dyspnea during incremental treadmill test and in exercise performance on the incremental and endurance treadmill tests at 6 and 12 months compared with the other 2 groups. Dyspnea with activities of daily living and self-reported physical functioning significantly improved for all groups over time. The dose-response relationship between supervised exercise and improvement in dyspnea present at 2 months was not sustained over the year.


CONCLUSION: Consistent with previous findings from evaluation studies of pulmonary rehabilitation programs, the greater number of supervised exercise training sessions improved laboratory dyspnea and performance more than the other two doses of exercise. In the long term, the improvement in dyspnea with activities of daily living and physical functioning was similar for all 3 groups.