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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


KUNIKOSHITA, LN et al. Effects of three respiratory physical therapy programs on patients with COPD. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.4, pp.449-455. ISSN 1413-3555.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of three respiratory physical therapy programs consisting of physical training on a treadmill and/or respiratory muscle training (RMT), on patients with COPD. METHODS: Twenty-five patients of both sexes with moderate-to-severe COPD were randomized into three groups: the first group (G1) underwent RMT at 30% of the maximal inspiratory pressure obtained each week; the second group (G2) underwent physical training at 70% of the heart rate achieved in the symptom-limited cardiorespiratory exercise test (CRET); and the third group (G3) underwent RMT together with physical training, at the same intensities mentioned above. All of the programs consisted of three sessions per week for six consecutive weeks. RESULTS: Following treatment, significantly increased respiratory muscle strength was observed in G1. In G2, there was significantly increased walking distance and decreased heart rate and expiratory minute ventilation in CRET at the same velocity (isovelocity), and improvement in the functional capacity domain of the quality of life (QOL) questionnaire. In G3, there was significantly increased respiratory muscle strength, increased walking distance, decreased systolic arterial pressure and decreased blood lactate in CRET at the same velocity, and improvement in QOL. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that physical training together with RMT was the best therapeutic alternative among the programs investigated in the present study. As well as providing an evident improvement in effort tolerance and QOL in the patients, it provided an additional effect regarding physiological adaptations to exercise with greater efficacy in clearance and/or lower production of blood lactate during effort.

Keywords : Physical training; respiratory muscle training; COPD.

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