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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

On-line version ISSN 1806-3756


GODOY, Dagoberto Vanoni de et al. The effect of psychotherapy provided as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation program for the treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2005, vol.31, n.6, pp.499-505. ISSN 1806-3756.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of psychotherapy on levels of anxiety and depression, as well as on quality of life and exercise capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease enrolled in a pulmonary rehabilitation program. METHODS: A randomized, controlled, blind clinical trial was conducted involving 49 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Patients were randomized into three groups: those submitted to the complete pulmonary rehabilitation program, which included psychotherapy and an exercise regimen (group 1); those submitted to the program minus physical exercise (group 2); and those submitted to the program minus psychotherapy (group 3). The three groups underwent a 12-week treatment program. All patients were evaluated at baseline and at completion of the pulmonary rehabilitation program through four instruments: The Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire were applied. The distance walked-weight product was also calculated. RESULTS: Statistically significant absolute improvements in exercise capacity were found for groups 1 and 2, although not for group 3 (p = 0.007, p = 0.008 and p = 0.06, respectively). In groups 1 and 2, levels of anxiety and depressions were also significantly reduced (group 1: p = 0.0000 and p < 0.0003; group 2: p = 0.0001 and p = 0.0014), and quality of life was significantly improved (p = 0.0007 and p = 0.002, respectively). Anxiety levels were also reduced in group 3 (p = 0.03), although levels of depression were not, and quality of life was unaffected. CONCLUSION: Psychotherapy sessions provided as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation program assist patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in coping with disease-related limitations by reducing behavioral symptoms, especially depression, thereby influencing exercise capacity and health-related quality of life.

Keywords : Pulmonary disease; chronic obstructive [rehabilitation]; Pullmonary diseases; chronic obstructive [psychology]; Anxiety; Depression; Quality of Life; Exercise therapy.

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