Research scientists at the University of Granada and the Virgen de las Nieves Hospital in Granada showed that a brief physical therapy program (between seven and 10 days) can significantly improve the quality of life of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The treatment devised by the researchers can improve the physical abilities of COPD patients and increase functionality in daily life. It also can reduce healthcare costs by minimizing the time a patient spends in the hospital.

The study included 49 COPD patients whose condition was worsened due to obesity. They received physical therapy during their stay at the hospital. The therapy exercises, which were focused primarily on the lower extremities, involved elastic bands, pedaling and exercises completed while seated and while balancing on one foot.

Treatment for the disease is a priority in Europe. In Spain alone, COPD affects more than 1.5 million people. Deaths resulting from COPD are expected to continue rising in Europe and to reach 338,000 by 2030.

The study was published in the journal COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Amsterdam.

By Kindred Rehabilitation Services