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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 June;54(3):323-32

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04745-1

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Effects of home-based neuromuscular electrical stimulation in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients: a randomized controlled clinical trial

Marie C. VALENZA, Irene TORRES-SÁNCHEZ , Laura LÓPEZ-LÓPEZ, Irene CABRERA-MARTOS, Araceli ORTIZ-RUBIO, Gerald VALENZA-DEMET

Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain


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BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients experience a sustained deterioration of several capacities. Those with severe COPD undergo a considerable decline in their physical and functional capacities, but pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is used to reduce the weakness of such patients. To date, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has been used in acute COPD patients but NMES superimposed onto voluntary muscular contraction has not been tested in COPD patients.
AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of superimposed NMES on the cardiorespiratory performance and functionality of severe COPD patients undergoing a home-based rehabilitation program.
DESIGN: This was a randomized controlled clinical trial.
POPULATION: A total of 36 stable severe COPD patients were included in this study and were randomly divided into two groups: an intervention group and a control group.
SETTING: The study was conducted as a home-based program.
METHODS: The control group received standard medical treatment. The intervention group additionally underwent an individualized physical therapy program. The intervention consisted of a pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) protocol for 8 weeks (2 h/week). The protocol was carried out as follows: 10 minutes of controlled breathing training; 30 minutes of NMES superimposed onto voluntary muscular contraction; and 5 minutes of relaxation/cool-down. The outcome measures were cardiorespiratory performance measured using the 6-Minute Walk Test in the treadmill and functionality assessed with the functional independence measure.
RESULTS: In the intervention group, significant improvements were observed after the treatment in cardiorespiratory performance and functionality (P<0.05), while the control group did not show any significant changes (P>0.05). The between-group analysis showed significant differences in cardiorespiratory performance and functionality (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: An 8-week individualized home-based PR program including controlled breathing training, aerobic exercise with elastic bands, and NMES superimposed onto voluntary muscle contraction significantly improves cardiorespiratory performance and functionality in stable COPD patients.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: A home-based pulmonary rehabilitation program including controlled breathing training, and NMES superimposed onto voluntary muscle contraction significantly improves cardiorespiratory performance and functionality in stable COPD patients.


KEY WORDS: Rehabilitation - Home care services - Physical therapy modalities - Respiratory disorders

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