Background There is evidence to suggest that Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is beneficial for patients with chronic lung diseases other than COPD (AACP/AACVPR guidelines 2007, ILD consultation document 2013). However, there is little evidence to suggest that PR provides exercise tolerance benefits comparable to COPD patients who participate in the same PR programmes.
Aim To determine whether walking distance improvements differ significantly between ILD and COPD patients following PR.
Method Retrospective data of PR Endurance Shuttle Walk Test distances (ESWTD) pre- to post-PR were analysed and compared between 55 Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) and 440 COPD patients from February 2005 to December 2012. Patients participated in a PR programme run by the same clinical team. Independent sample two-tailed t-tests were performed on data for pre-PR ESWTD, post-PR ESWTD and ESWTD change.
Results There were no significant differences between group ESWTD prior to PR (t = -0.049, p = 0.961), following PR (t = -0.227, p = 0.820) or change in ESWTD (t = -0.228, p = 0.820).
Conclusions These data indicate there is no significant difference between ILD and COPD patients’ walking distances. ILD patients with a reduced exercise tolerance should be included and referred to PR programmes.