Physical therapy treatment proves to notably improve quality of life of COPD patients
The treatment, designed by scientists at the University of Granada and Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada, allows for cost savings to the health system as it reduces the need for patients to stay in hospital.
Researchers at the University of Granada and the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital in Granada have shown that a brief physical therapy program of 7 to 10 days significantly improves the quality of life of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The therapy also allows for cost savings to the health system as it reduces the need for the patient to remain in hospital.
COPD is currently a severe health issue that affects over 1.5 million people in Spain. In Europe, it is expected that deaths attributable to COPD will rise from 270,000 in 2005 to 338,000 in 2030.
The data have made the disease a priority in the field of treatment and have led to a great amount of scientific work being done on the international level in search for treatments that can reduce the effects of the disease.
It is within this context that the CTS-009 research team at the Physical Therapy Department at UGR is developing the PULMOACTIVE project. The project is funded by the Health and Progress Foundation, Boeghringer Inghelheim and Oximesa.
In the study, a group of 49 COPD patients who suffered from increased effects of the disease due to obesity and were admitted at Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada, received physical therapy treatment during their stay.
The researchers showed that a brief exercise program (between 7 and 10 days) can minimize the effects of being hospitalized and improve the physical abilities of COPD patients. It can also increase functionality in daily life. The exercises were focused primarily on the lower extremities using elastic bands, pedalling and exercises while seated and while balancing on one foot.
The study is published in the prestigious journal COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and was recently presented at the ERS International Congress in Amsterdam.