+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Effects of community-based pulmonary rehabilitation in 33 municipalities in Denmark – results from the KOALA project

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          The positive impact of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in patients with COPD is well documented. However, little is known regarding the effect of this treatment in community-based settings. Since 2007, all Danish municipalities have been offering PR to patients with moderate to severe COPD, whereas patients with very severe disease or those suffering from many comorbidities were referred to outpatient hospital-based PR.


          To analyze the effect of a standardized PR program conducted in a community-based setting on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


          This is a real-life study including data from patients attending PR at one of the 33 healthcare centers in Denmark during the period 2011–2012. For the purpose of registration and for quality assurance, the KOALA database was established and this web-based registration instrument was offered free of charge to every municipality. Measures included sociodemographic and health-related variables and outcomes were exercise capacity and HRQoL assessed by 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) and the 15D questionnaire, respectively, at the beginning (baseline) and after completion of PR. Relative improvements in 6MWD and 15D were analyzed with multivariable linear models in patients who attended >50% of the sessions.


          A total of 581 patients completed the PR (72% of those included). We found statistically significant and clinically meaningful differences between baseline and end of rehabilitation values for both main outcomes with a mean change in 6MWD of 45 m, and the magnitude of improvement corresponds to other findings. Furthermore, relative improvements in 6MWD and 15D were correlated, as was the relative change in 15D and baseline Medical Research Council scores.


          Standardized, multidisciplinary PR conducted in a community-based setting showed good adherence to the program and produced effects on exercise capacity and HRQoL that were clinically meaningful and comparable in size to hospital-based PR.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 19

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Pulmonary rehabilitation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          Widespread application of pulmonary rehabilitation (also known as respiratory rehabilitation) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be preceded by demonstrable improvements in function (health-related quality of life, functional and maximal exercise capacity) attributable to the programmes. This review updates the review reported in 2006.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Six-minute-walk test in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: minimal clinically important difference for death or hospitalization.

            Outcomes other than spirometry are required to assess nonbronchodilator therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Estimates of the minimal clinically important difference for the 6-minute-walk distance (6MWD) have been derived from narrow cohorts using nonblinded intervention. To determine minimum clinically important difference for change in 6MWD over 1 year as a function of mortality and first hospitalization in an observational cohort of patients with COPD. Data from the ECLIPSE cohort were used (n = 2,112). Death or first hospitalization were index events; we measured change in 6MWD in the 12-month period before the event and related change in 6MWD to lung function and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (health status). Of subjects with change in the 6MWD data, 94 died, and 323 were hospitalized. 6MWD fell by 29.7 m (SD, 82.9 m) more among those who died than among survivors (P < 0.001). A reduction in distance of more than 30 m conferred a hazard ratio of 1.93 (95% confidence interval, 1.29-2.90; P = 0.001) for death. No significant difference was observed for first hospitalization. Weak relationships only were observed with change in lung function or health status. A reduction in the 6MWD of 30 m or more is associated with increased risk of death but not hospitalization due to exacerbation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and represents a clinically significant minimally important difference.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Short- and long-term efficacy of a community-based COPD management programme in less advanced COPD: a randomised controlled trial.

              The effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in advanced COPD is well established, but few data are available in less advanced disease. In a 2 year randomised controlled trial, 199 patients with an average moderate airflow obstruction but impaired exercise capacity (mean (SD) forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) 60 (16)%, peak work load (Wmax) <70%) were randomised to the INTERdisciplinary COMmunity-based COPD management programme (INTERCOM) or usual care. Intervention consisted of 4 months multidisciplinary rehabilitation followed by a 20-month maintenance phase. Outcomes (4, 12, 24 months): health-related quality of life (St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ)), exacerbation frequency, MRC dyspnoea score, cycle endurance time (CET), 6-minute walking distance (6MWD), skeletal muscle strength and patients' and caregivers' perceived effectiveness. Between-group comparison after 4 months revealed the following mean (SE) significant differences in favour of INTERCOM: SGRQ total score 4.06 (1.39), p = 0.004; activity and impact subscores, p<0.01; MRC score 0.33 (0.13), p = 0.01; Wmax 6.0 (2.3) Watt, p = 0.02; CET 221 (104) s, p = 0.04; 6MWD 13 (6) m, p = 0.02; hand grip force 4.3 (1.5) lb, p<0.01; and fat-free mass index 0.34 (0.13) kg/m(2), p = 0.01. Between-group differences over 2 years were as follows: SGRQ 2.60 (1.3), p = 0.04; MRC score 0.21 (0.10), p = 0.048; CET 253 (104) s, p = 0.0156; 6MWD 18 (8) m, p = 0.0155. Exacerbation frequency was not different (RR 1.29 (95% CI 0.89 to 1.87)). Patients' and caregivers' perceived effectiveness significantly favoured the INTERCOM programme (p<0.01). This study shows that a multidisciplinary community-based disease management programme is also effective in patients with COPD with exercise impairment but less advanced airflow obstruction.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                21 December 2018
                : 14
                : 93-100
                [1 ]Department of Respiratory Medicine, Amager and Hvidovre University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark, nina.skavlan.godtfredsen@
                [2 ]Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, nina.skavlan.godtfredsen@
                [3 ]Clinic of Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases, Horsens, Denmark
                [4 ]Department of Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hillerød, Denmark
                [5 ]Municipality of Vejle, Vejle, Denmark
                [6 ]GlaxoSmithKline A/S, Brøndby, Denmark
                [7 ]Dollerup Medical Consultancy, Hornbæk, Denmark
                [8 ]Municipality of Aalborg, Aalborg, Denmark
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Nina Godtfredsen, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Amager and Hvidovre University Hospital, Kettegaard Allé 30, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark, Tel +45 3 862 6310, Email nina.skavlan.godtfredsen@
                © 2019 Godtfredsen et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research


                Comment on this article