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Experiences of patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation during an exacerbation of chronic respiratory disease

Vincent, Emma E.; Chaplin, Emma J.; Williams, Johanna E.A.; Harvey-Dunstan, Theresa; Greening, Neil J.; Steiner, Michael C.; Morgan, Mike D.; Singh, Sally J.


Emma E. Vincent

Emma J. Chaplin

Johanna E.A. Williams

Theresa Harvey-Dunstan

Neil J. Greening

Michael C. Steiner

Mike D. Morgan

Sally J. Singh


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized in the later stages by acute exacerbations that often require hospitalization. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended for patients with COPD to aid symptom control, improve quality of life and increase physical activity. We have previously reported a large intervention trial commenced during a hospital admission. The aim of this sub-study was to evaluate the patients’ experiences of discharge following the hospitalization for an acute exacerbation of COPD. During a programme of early rehabilitation (ER) patient perceptions, experiences and healthcare use were collated during the month that followed their discharge. ER (started during their admission) was comprised of exercise training techniques that were modified to suit the environment of acute illness, together with an education and self-management programme. Each patient was then supported on the programme by telephone contact, following their discharge home, at 48 hours, 2 weeks and 4 weeks. We collected information in relation to the walking and exercise progression; we monitored patient recall of healthcare use, compliance/understanding of medical therapy, as well as their wider perceptions that may have influenced the recovery process. Healthcare use was captured using GP records and data analysis. Of the 100 patients, 47 males, (mean (standard deviation)) 71 (9.3) years, FEV1 1.14 L (0.6), BMI 26.6 (6.9), pack smoked years 45.8 (29.6), ethnicity White British 97%, were discharged home following an acute exacerbation of their respiratory symptoms, to an ER programme. At 48 hours following discharge, a minority (20%) of patients stated their symptoms were ‘feeling better’; 15% highlighted that they found the prescribed ‘exercise difficult’; 44% of patients felt at the end of the month that prescribed exercise programme had a ‘positive effect’ on their recovery from their exacerbation; 38% of patients felt their family had a positive effect on their recovery; 11% felt their family hindered. Patients reported a mean confidence score of 8.21 (2.1) for exercise that did not vary over the three contacts (p = 0.166). A similar mean confidence score of 7.76 (2.6) was reported for walking with a non-statistical change also noted (p = 0.223). When patient recall of primary health care contact was compared with actual use, there was statistical significance shown (p = 0.002); patients underestimated the amount of care they received. The data indicate that patients do recover at home within the support of an early intervention. Patients are positive about the benefit of ER in the process of recovery; however, this is uncontrolled data.


Vincent, E. E., Chaplin, E. J., Williams, J. E., Harvey-Dunstan, T., Greening, N. J., Steiner, M. C., …Singh, S. J. (2017). Experiences of patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation during an exacerbation of chronic respiratory disease. Chronic Respiratory Disease, 14(3), 298-308.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 8, 2016
Online Publication Date Mar 9, 2017
Publication Date Aug 1, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 21, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 21, 2019
Journal Chronic Respiratory Disease
Print ISSN 1479-9723
Electronic ISSN 1479-9731
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 3
Pages 298-308
Keywords Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
Public URL
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