Effect of long-term respiratory muscle training on COPD

Effect of long-term respiratory muscle training on COPD

COPD is a condition that can dramatically affect a patient’s outlook and prognosis, as well as their ability to live life. Respiratory muscle weakness in patients with COPD, for example, contributes to dyspnea and exercise intolerance. These, in turn, affect physical activities of daily living and quality of life. There are certain things that can help improve the treatment options and overall situation of many patients. Respiratory muscle training (RMT), for example, has been shown to be effective in increasing muscle strength in COPD patients, but the effect does not last if training is not maintained.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at a study that attempts to determine how effective RMT is over time. The effects of long-term specific RMT were tested as a meas to improve respiratory muscle strength and quality of life in patients with COPD, as well as their use of health care services.

Key Findings

  • Respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves symptoms of COPD, but long-term effect of RMT are unclear.
  • COPD patients were followed during and after 12 months of RMT.
  • Respiratory muscle strength and exercise capacity significantly improved after 3 months of RMT, quality of life after 6 months and dyspnea after 9 months.
  • All improvements were maintained throughout the training period.
  • 12 months of RMT reduced health care utilization and hospitalization by 30% in COPD patients.

Patient Impact

Long-term RMT has a sustained effect on symptoms of COPD and reduces hospitalization and healthcare requirements.

Study Methods

Maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax), exercise tolerance, dyspnea and quality of life were assessed in COPD patients during and after 12 months inspiratory muscle training, and compared to a control group.

Study Results

PImax and exercise tolerance, measured by distance covered in a six-minute walk test, significantly increased in patients with COPD after three months of IMT. Perception of dyspnea significantly decreased after nine months of IMT, and a significant improvement of the health-related quality of life score was reached after six months of IMT. All of these improvements were maintained until the end of the training period. In addition, a decrease in primary health care and hospitalization by 30% was observed in the training group.

Long-term respiratory muscle training leads to a sustained effect on respiratory muscle strength, exercise tolerance, dyspnea and quality of life in patients with COPD. It also reduces hospitalization rates and requirement for primary health care. Rehabilitation programs for COPD patients should therefore include long-term RMT for individual as well as wider economic benefits.

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