Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Patients Referred for Lung Transplantation

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 755)


Effectiveness of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, and interstitial lung disease is well documented but little is known about the results of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients referred for lung transplantation. The purpose of this study is to prospectively examine the efficacy of Nordic walking, a low cost, accessible, and proven beneficial form of physical exercise, as a form of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients referred for lung transplantation. Twenty-two male patients referred for lung transplantation at the Department of Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis in Zabrze, Poland, were invited to take part in the study. The rehabilitation program, which was conducted for 12 weeks, was based on Nordic walking exercise training with ski poles. Lung function tests (FVC, FEV1), mobility (6 min walking test (6MWT)), rating of dyspnea (Oxygen Cost Index, MRC and Baseline Dyspnea Index), and quality of life assessments (SF-36) were performed before and after the completion of the exercise program. No adverse events were observed after completing the pulmonary rehabilitation program in patients referred for lung transplantation. After 12 weeks of pulmonary rehabilitation with Nordic walking we observed a significant increase in the mean distance walked in the 6MWT (310.2 m vs. 372.1 m, p < 0.05). The results of lung function tests also showed improvement in FVC. There were no significant differences in the perception of dyspnea before and after completing the rehabilitation program. General health and quality of life questionnaire (SF-36) showed improvement in the domain of social functioning (p < 0.05). In conclusion, pulmonary rehabilitation with a Nordic walking program is a safe and feasible physical activity in end-stage lung disease patients referred for lung transplantation and results in improvements in patients’ mobility and quality of life.


Interstitial lung disease Lung transplantation Pulmonary rehabilitation Nordic walking Six-minute walking distance 



Supported by grant No. KNW-1-176/10 from the Medical University of Silesia, Poland.

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Lung Diseases and TuberculosisMedical University of SilesiaZabrzePoland
  2. 2.Department of TransplantologySilesian Center for Heart DiseasesZabrzePoland
  3. 3.Students of Medical FacultyMedical University of SilesiaZabrzePoland
  4. 4.Academy of Physical EducationPhysical Education FacultyKatowicePoland

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