1. Li, Guanhua MD
  2. Roberts, Mary MN, DipAppSc, BHlthScN
  3. Wheatley, John PhD, MB, BS
  4. Leung, Winnie MPhty, BSc, GradCertHSc
  5. Harding, Elise BPhty
  6. Liu, Abby BAppSc
  7. Boehm, Christiane BNurs
  8. Sausa, Christine BNurs
  9. Cho, Jin-Gun PhD, MMed, MB, BS


Purpose: This study aimed to assess whether there are differences in exercise or health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) outcomes following twice-weekly supervised sessions of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) compared with three times weekly over an 8-wk program in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Methods: We conducted a quasi-experimental, single-center observational study using 198 subjects who completed two supervised PR sessions (intervention group) compared with 208 historical controls who completed three weekly sessions. We assessed between-group differences in outcomes after balancing groups using inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) of propensity scores, followed by regression adjustment.


Results: Both groups achieved clinically and statistically significant improvements in exercise and HRQoL following the PR program. After IPTW and regression adjustment, the intervention group had a lower post-PR 6-min walk time by 1.2: 95% CI, -12.9 to 10.5 m (P = .84), compared with the control group. Although post-PR COPD Assessment Test (CAT) scores decreased in both groups, the intervention group had a higher post-PR CAT score by 1.5: 95% CI, 0.37 to 2.66 a.u. (P = .01), compared with the control group. All other HRQoL measures failed to reach statistical significance. None of the between-group differences reached minimal clinically important differences for COPD.


Conclusions: Our findings support current international guidelines for twice-weekly supervised PR sessions combined with unsupervised home exercise sessions. We conclude there is no disadvantage in running a PR program for patients with COPD using twice-weekly supervised sessions compared with three times weekly supervised sessions.