Although the winter weather is subsiding, pneumonia is still a widespread and dangerous threat. Patients with pneumonia can end up in the hospital requiring acute physical therapy to avoid deconditioning. In their 2016 paper, “Inpatient rehabilitation improves functional capacity, peripheral muscle strength and quality of life in patients with community-acquired pneumonia: a randomised trial ,” Jose and Corso stated,
“Patients who are hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia experience a decline in functional capacity, which is associated with higher rates of re-hospitalization and death, as well as reductions in both peripheral muscle strength and quality of life.”
Physiotherapeutic approaches for pneumonia patients have been hypothesized to improve functional capacity, quality of life, peripheral muscle strength, exercise tolerance, anxiety and depression, but have yet to be proven. Jose and Corso set out to test this theory, as well as attempt to improve the outcomes of those suffering from pneumonia. The research question became:
“Among people who are hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia, does an inpatient exercise-based rehabilitation program improve functional outcomes, symptoms, quality of life and length of hospital stay more than a respiratory physiotherapy regimen?”
The addition of exercise in pneumonia treatment
Forty-nine adults hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia were split into two groups:
- The experimental group took part in a program that included warm-up, stretching, peripheral muscle strength training with TheraBand resistance bands and walking at a controlled speed for 15 minutes.
- The control group entered a respiratory physiotherapy regimen that included percussion, vibrocompression, respiratory exercises and free walking.
After eight days, patients were measured up against their baseline scores in:
- The Glittre Activities of Daily Living test
- Distance walked in the incremental shuttle walk test
- Peripheral muscle strength
- Quality of life
- Lung function
- C-reactive protein
- Length of hospital stay
What worked, and what didn’t work
The TheraBand exercise group saw greater improvements in activities of daily living and mobility, as well as significantly greater improvements in quality of life, dyspnoea and peripheral muscle strength. However, there were no differences in lung function, C-reactive protein or length of hospital stay between the two groups.
It was concluded that the addition of an inpatient exercise-based rehabilitation program using TheraBand resistance established greater benefits in functional capacity, peripheral muscle strength, dyspnoea and quality of life for patients suffering community-acquired pneumonia. Visit the article to read further discussion and implication of the study.
Have you experienced the benefits of exercise-based programs in illnesses like phenomena? Share below!
Jose A, Corso SD. 2016. Inpatient rehabilitation improves functional capacity, peripheral muscle strength and quality of life in patients with community-acquired pneumonia: a randomised trial. J Physiother. Mar 17. (Epub ahead of print).