According to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal, pulmonary rehabilitation can bring similar improvements to wellbeing among people living with bronchiectasis to those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme that aims to reduce the physical and emotional impacts a long-term lung condition can have on a person’s life. It combines exercise training with education about ways you can help keep yourself as healthy as possible.
During the study, 213 people with bronchiectasis took part in a supervised, 8-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Each person was paired up with someone with COPD also receiving the treatment so that their outcomes could be compared.
Researchers used a few different measurements to compare the two groups: a walking test, a questionnaire about symptoms and wellbeing, and whether participants finished the programme.
Looking at the questionnaires, there were similarities in outcomes between both groups – particularly when it came to reducing breathlessness and improving mental health. However, the people with COPD noticed a greater change in energy levels than those with bronchiectasis.
People with bronchiectasis had slightly bigger improvements in their walking test results, being able to walk an average of 70 m further after the programme, compared to the gain of 63 m among people with COPD.
Both groups finished the programme at the same rates.
Overall, the researchers found that pulmonary rehabilitation is beneficial for people with bronchiectasis, improving their wellbeing and ability to exercise. They therefore recommend that it is offered as part of treatment plans for the condition.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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