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Lung rehab benefits COPD patients

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, May 2 (Reuters) Pulmonary rehabilitation appears to decrease psychosocial illness, including depression and anxiety, in people who suffer from severe COPD, even without a specific psychological intervention, a study shows. It also has a positive impact on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life.

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of serious lung diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Dr Rosa Guell, of Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau, Barcelona, and colleagues examined the various effects of pulmonary rehab in 40 patients with severe COPD who were randomized to 16 weeks of pulmonary rehab, which included breathing retraining and exercise, or to no intervention -- the control group.

After 4 months, the pulmonary rehabilitation group had better scores than the control group for several behavioral health outcomes. They also showed significant improvements in areas such as depression, hostility, anxiety, and COPD symptom severity.

Moreover, the pulmonary rehabilitation group posted significant increases over baseline in distance walked in 6 minutes whereas the control group showed a decline in this test.

''The new contribution of our study lies in the fact that the pulmonary rehabilitation improves not only depression and anxiety but also impacts on other psychosocial morbidity,'' the researchers conclude.


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