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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Vol. 40 No. 5, September/Ocober 2003, Supplement 2
Pages 35 — 44


Effect of ventilation-feedback training on endurance and perceived breathlessness during constant work-rate leg-cycle exercise in patients with COPD
Eileen G. Collins, RN, PhD; Linda Fehr, MS; Christine Bammert, MS; Susan O'Connell, RN, MBA;
Franco Laghi, MD; Karla Hanson, MS; Eileen Hagarty, RN, MS; W. Edwin Langbein, PhD
Research and Development, Nursing, and Medical Services, Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, IL; College of Nursing at University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL; Department of Medicine, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Maywood, IL
Abstract — The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a unique program of ventilation-feedback training combined with leg-cycle exercise to improve exertional endurance and decrease perceived dyspnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Thirty-nine patients (67.5 8.1 yr of age) with moderate to severe COPD (42.6% of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s) were randomized to one of three 6-week experimental interventions: ventilation-feedback with exercise (V+EX), exercise only (EXONLY), or ventilation-feedback only (VFONLY). At baseline and at 6 weeks, patients completed a constant work-rate leg-cycle ergometer test at 85 percent of maximal power output. There were increases within the groups in exercise duration: 11.5 min (103%), 8.0 min (66%), and 0.4 min (4%) for the VF+EX, EXONLY, and VFONLY groups, respectively. The VFONLY group experienced no significant within-group changes in selected gas exchange parameters. However, there were significant (p < 0.05) posttraining changes in minute ventilation, tidal volume, breathing frequency ( f ), and expiratory time (Te) in the VF+EX group, and in f and Te in the EXONLY group. After completing the training, VF+EX and EXONLY patients reported less breathlessness and perceived exertion (p < 0.05). The VFONLY patients' ratings changed in the hypothesized direction but were not significant. Based on these preliminary data, VF+EX and EXONLY were equally effective in improving leg-cycle exercise tolerance in patients with moderate to severe COPD.
Key words: exercise, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary rehabilitation.

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