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QUESTION: What is the effectiveness of an outpatient multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation programme in patients with disabling chronic lung disease?
Randomised (allocation concealed*), unblinded,* controlled trial with 1 year follow up.
A teaching and district general hospital in Penarth, Wales, UK.
200 patients (mean age 68 y, 60% men) with disabling chronic lung disease (84% with chronic obstructive lung disease) who had an FEV1 <60% of the predicted normal rate with <20% reversibility in response to an inhaled β-agonist. Patients were excluded if they could not walk, had severe sensory or cognitive impairment, or had symptomatic ischaemic heart disease. Follow up was 90%.
After stratification by sex and primary nature of lung disease (obstructive or non-obstructive), patients were allocated to a 6 week multidisciplinary pulmonary …