Background There is increasing evidence to suggest that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) improves exercise capacity, health status and dyspnoea in non-COPD chronic respiratory disease patients. However it is not clear how to assess the education component of PR on these patients. The Lung Information Needs Questionnaire (LINQ) is a self-complete tool, which assesses, from the patient's perspective, the information they need to adequately understand their lung disease and to maximise their self-management skills. This has been validated in COPD patients (Hyland et al, Resp Med 2006), and improves significantly with PR in COPD (Jones et al, Resp Med 2008). We hypothesised that the LINQ would also be sensitive to change with PR in non-COPD patients.
Methods In 77 non-COPD patients referred to the Harefield Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme, the LINQ and other measures (incremental shuttle walk, Hospital Anxiety Depression scale and Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire) were measured pre- and post-PR. A group of 128 COPD patients completing PR at the same time acted as controls. Within group pre- to post- PR changes in mean LINQ score were compared using paired t tests. Between group changes were compared using unpaired t tests.
Results The composition of the non-COPD group comprised 31 interstitial lung disease, 15 asthma, 16 bronchiectasis, 7 post-lung cancer surgery, and 8 extra-thoracic restriction patients. PR improved mean (SD) LINQ score from 10.34 (3.71) to 5.53 (2.91) (95% CI −4.01 to −5.60; p<0.001) in the non-COPD group with large effect size (t=12.07, df=75, r=0.81). Pre- to post-PR changes in LINQ were not significantly different between non-COPD and COPD patients (95% CI −1.45 to 0.70; p=0.49). ISW, HAD-A, HAD-D and CRDQ all significantly improved with PR in the non-COPD group.
Conclusion The LINQ is sensitive to change after PR in non-COPD patients, and may be a useful tool to assess the educational needs of non-COPD patients.