15 October 2020
Long-term effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is still uncertain in older people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The objective was to compare the effects of home-based PR in people with COPD above and below the age of 70 years.
In this retrospective study, 480 people with COPD were recruited and divided into those ≤70 (n=341) and those >70 years of age (n=139). All participants underwent an 8 weeks of home-based PR, consisting of a weekly supervised 90-minute home session. Six-minute stepper test (6MST), timed-up and go test (TUG), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Visual Simplified Respiratory Questionnaire (VSRQ) were assessed at baseline (M0), at 2 (M2), 8 (M8), 14 (M14) months after baseline.
The older group was described by fewer current smokers (p <0.001), more long-term oxygen therapy use (p = 0.024), higher prevalence of comorbidities (p<0.001), lower 6MST score and higher TUG score (p<0.001), compared to the younger group. Both groups improved every outcome at M2 compared to baseline. At M2, 88% of people ≤70 years of age and 79% of those above 70 were considered as responders in at least one evaluated parameter (p = 0.013). Both groups maintained the benefits at M14, except for the VSRQ score and the number of responders to this outcome in the older group.