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Effectiveness of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation programs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): systematic review
Stafinski T, Nagase FI, Avdagovska M, Stickland MK, Menon D
BMC Health Services Research 2022 Apr 26;22(557):Epub
systematic review

BACKGROUND: Although pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is considered a key component in managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, uptake remains suboptimal. This systematic review aimed to determine the effectiveness of home-based PR (HBPR) programs for COPD patients. METHODS: A systematic review of scholarly literature published within the last 10 years from the conception of this project was conducted using internationally recognized guidelines. Search strategies were applied to electronic databases and clinical trial registries through March 2020 and updated in November 2021 to identify studies comparing HBPR with 'usual care' or outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation (OPR). To critically appraise randomized studies, the Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool (ROB) was used. The quality of non-randomized studies was evaluated using the ACROBAT-NRSI tool. The quality of evidence relating to key outcomes was assessed using Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), exacerbation frequencies, COPD-related hospital admissions, and program adherence. Three independent reviewers assessed methodologic quality and reviewed the studies. RESULTS: Twelve randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 2 comparative observational studies were included. While considerable evidence relating to the effectiveness of HBPR programs for COPD patients exist, overall quality is low. There were no differences between HBPR and OPR in terms of safety, HRQoL, functional exercise capacity and health care resource utilization. Compared to usual care, functional exercise capacity seemed to significantly improve after HBPR. While patient compliance with HBPR is good, two factors appeared to increase the 'risk' of non-compliance: expectations of patients to (1) complete daily diaries/activity logs and (2) engage in solely unsupervised exercise sessions. CONCLUSION: The overall quality for most outcomes was low to very low; however, HBPR seems to offer comparable short-term benefits to OPR.

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