n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - COPD : is there evidence to support a role for resistance training in improving measurable health-related quality of life in pulmonary rehabilitation? : commentary

Volume 19, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. As such, the disease places a significant burden on health care services. Although the pathogenesis of COPD is complex, progressive airflow limitation and a chronic inflammatory response are two hallmark characteristics of the disease. In addition, systemic manifestations such as peripheral muscle dysfunction have recently received considerable attention in the literature. Pulmonary rehabilitation is an evidence-based multidisciplinary intervention that has been shown to produce clinically relevant outcomes. One important component of rehabilitation is exercise. With the majority of COPD patients presenting with muscle weakness and exercise intolerance, the inclusion of resistance training into a pulmonary rehabilitation programme would seem appropriate. Compared with other exercise / training modalities only a small number of studies have investigated the effects of resistance training in COPD patients. Although further research is required to identify the optimal mode, intensity and frequency, it appears that resistance training may prove to be a valuable intervention for COPD patients enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.

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