Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Patients After COPD Exacerbation

Respir Care. 2021 Dec 7:respcare.09066. doi: 10.4187/respcare.09066. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to clarify the effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients after exacerbations of COPD and to explore the initiation timing of pulmonary rehabilitation.

METHODS: Systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to assess the effects of pulmonary rehabilitation in subjects with exacerbations of COPD on mortality and readmission compared with usual care. We searched for studies published up to October 2020 in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, and other sources. Risk of bias was assessed for the randomization process, deviations from intended interventions, missing outcome data, outcome measurements, and selection of the reported result using the Risk of Bias 2 tool. We pooled mortality and readmission data and performed comparisons between pulmonary rehabilitation and usual care. The subgroup analysis compared pulmonary rehabilitation at different start times (early: ≤ 1 week from admission; and late: > 1 week from admission).

RESULTS: We identified 10 randomized trials (1,056 participants). Our meta-analysis showed a clinically relevant reduction in readmission up to 3-6 months after pulmonary rehabilitation in both early group (4 trials, 190 subjects; risk ratio [RR] 0.58, [95% CI 0.34-0.99]) and late group (3 trials, 281 subjects; RR 0.48, [95% CI 0.32-0.71]). However, pulmonary rehabilitation had no significant effect on mortality 1 y later compared with usual care (4 trials, 765 subjects; RR 1.27, [95% CI 0.91-1.79]).

CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary rehabilitation showed short-term effects for subjects with exacerbations of COPD even if initiated within 1 week; however, further study is required to determine its long-term effects.

PMID:34876493 | DOI:10.4187/respcare.09066

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