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Long-term repercussions of a pulmonary rehabilitation program on the indices of anxiety, depression, quality of life and physical performance in patients with COPD

OBJECTIVE: To assess the 24-month effects of a pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP) on anxiety, depression, quality of life and physical performance of COPD patients. METHODS: Thirty patients with COPD (mean age, 60.8 ± 10 years; 70% males) participated in a 12-week PRP, which included 24 physical exercise sessions, 24 respiratory rehabilitation sessions, 12 psychotherapy sessions and 3 educational sessions. All patients were evaluated at baseline (pre-PRP), at the end of the treatment (post-PRP) and two years later (current) by means of four instruments: the Beck Anxiety Inventory; the Beck Depression Inventory; Saint George's Respiratory Questionnaire; and the six-minute walk test (6MWT). RESULTS: The comparison between the pre-PRP and post-PRP values revealed a significant decrease in the levels of anxiety (pre-PRP: 10.7 ± 6.3; post-PRP: 5.5 ± 4.4; p = 0.0005) and depression (pre-PRP: 11.7 ± 6.8; post-PRP: 6.0 ± 5.8; p = 0.001), as well as significant improvements in the distance covered on the 6MWT (pre-PRP: 428.6 ± 75.0 m; post-PRP: 474.9 ± 86.3 m; p = 0.03) and the quality of life index (pre-PRP: 51.0 ± 15.9; post-PRP: 34.7 ± 15.1; p = 0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences between the post-PRP and current evaluation values. CONCLUSIONS: The benefits provided by the PRP in terms of the indices of anxiety, depression and quality of life, as well as the improved 6MWT performance, persisted throughout the 24-month study period.

Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Rehabilitation; Exercise; Quality of life; Anxiety; Depression

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