Published: 15 July 2020

Authors: Fanny Wai-San Ko, Wilson Tam, Eddy H.S. Siu, Ka-Pang Chan, Jenny Chun-Li Ngai, So-Shan Ng, Tat On Chan, David Shu-Cheong Hui

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 186


    Background and objective

    Previous studies have suggested that early pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programmes post-AECOPD are an effective and safe intervention for reducing hospital admissions and improving quality of life. This study assessed whether a short course of exercise training post-AECOPD with periodic reinforcement exercise training and phone call reminders reduces readmissions and increases physical activity in COPD patients.


    Subjects were randomized into either the (i) intervention group (IG), consisting of 4–8 weeks of training supervised by a physiotherapist and phone contact every 2 weeks by a case manager providing support and reinforcement of continuous exercise at home or (ii) usual care group (UG), which had no input by a physiotherapist or case manager. Readmissions were assessed at 12 months. Activities of all patients were assessed by an activity monitor at baseline, 3 and 12 months.


    Altogether, 136 subjects were included and randomized (68 in IG and 68 in UG). The age, gender and FEV1% predicted were 75.0 ± 6.7 years, 132 males and 47.0 ± 16.2%, respectively. The mean number of readmissions for AECOPD (1.06 vs 1.72 times, P = 0.014) was less and time to first readmission was increased (146.8 vs 122.4 days, P = 0.005) in the IG versus UG at 12 months. At 12 months, there was no change in activity measured by activity monitor between the two groups.


    This programme decreased exacerbation frequency and increased the time of readmissions for AECOPD. It did not improve physical activities and exercise tolerance at 12 months.

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