Community-based pulmonary rehabilitation in a non-healthcare facility is feasible and effective
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© The Author(s) 2016.Pulmonary rehabilitation programs (PRPs) are most commonly provided in hospital settings which present barriers to attendance such as long distances or travel times. Community-based settings have been used in an attempt to alleviate the travel burden. This study evaluated the feasibility and outcomes of a network of community-based PRPs provided in non-healthcare facilities (CPRPs). The CPRPs were established in five venues and comprised two supervised group sessions each week for 8 weeks. Participant inclusion criteria and guidelines for exercise testing and training were developed to reduce the risk of adverse events. Outcome measures included 6-min walk distance (6MWD) and health-related quality of life (chronic respiratory questionnaire (CRQ)). Respiratory-related hospital admission data were collected in the 12 months prior to and following the program. Two hundred and fifty-one participants (79% with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: mean ± SD FEV1 49 ± 21%predicted) entered a CPRP of which 166 (66%) completed. Improvements were demonstrated in 6MWD (mean difference (95% CI) 44 m (37-52)) and total CRQ score (0.5 points per item (0.4-0.7)). Fewer participants had a respiratory-related hospital admission following the program (12% vs. 37%, p < 0.0001). Pulmonary rehabilitation is safe, feasible and effective when conducted in community-based non-healthcare facilities.
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