Methods of studying the effectiveness of physical therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation of COPD patients (systematic review)

K. Tymruk-Skoropad


Introduction. Most of the modern protocols for pulmonary rehabilitation and management of COPD patients provide recommendations for diagnostic methods of research and substantiation of indicators laying the basis for the treatment strategy. Recommendations on research methods and indicators which should be used as criteria of the physiotherapeutic intervention effectiveness are insufficient. Purpose of the study. To analyze research methods that are most commonly used to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation of COPD patients. Materials and methods of research. 10 systematic reviews of the Cochrane web library on physical therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation (based on the analysis of 145 randomized trials) have been analyzed. The methods of research and the indicators laying the basis for the evaluation of the physical therapy/pulmonary rehabilitation results have been determined. Results. 550 research methods/indicators have been analyzed. Conclusions. Most survey methods used in randomized trials related to pulmonary rehabilitation (and/or physical therapy) in the case of COPD can be divided into assessment groups 1) quality of life and its components, manifestation of the disease symptoms; 2) level of physical efficiency and endurance, motor sphere; 3) state of the cardiorespiratory system; 4) integral indicators; 5) indicators of hospitalization, exacerbations, and mortality; 6) indicators of awareness, literacy, and education of patients. None of the research methods can reflect the diversity of pathogenetic manifestations of COPD, adequately describe the nature/severity of the disease, or provide information on the physical therapy effectiveness. In order to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the rehabilitation of COPD patients it is advisable to use at least one of the study methods from each distinguished group.


physical therapy; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pulmonary rehabilitation; COPD; methods of research; quality of life


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