Evaluation of multidimensional COPD-related subjective fatigue following a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme

A. Lewko, P.L. Bidgood, A. Jewell, R. Garrod

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Subjective fatigue has been recognised as an important, multi-component symptom in COPD. Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) improves fatigue component of the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire, a quality of life (QoL) measure. However, it is not clear if all fatigue dimensions are affected equally. This study aims to evaluate changes in subjective multidimensional fatigue among people with COPD who participated in PR.

Thirty seven stable COPD patients were recruited; 23 patients (15 male) mean age 68.5 (range 49–86) yrs, mean (SD) %predicted FEV1 45.3 (19.8); completed 7 weeks of PR. Assessments (pre and post PR) consisted of the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20), QoL (SGRQ), Anxiety and Depression (HADS), the London Chest Activity of Daily Living Scale (LCADL), muscle strength, incremental (ISWT) and endurance (ESWT) shuttle walk tests. The differences between pre and post PR fatigue were tested using Wilcoxon's test and relationships with other outcomes were examined using Spearman's correlation.

There were statistically significant improvements in Reduced Activity (RA) (p = 0.01), General (GF) (p < 0.01) and Physical Fatigue (PF) (p = 0.03) components of MFI-20 after PR, but there were no differences in Motivation or Mental Fatigue (p > 0.05). There were significant improvements in ISWT (p < 0.05), ESWT (p < 0.01) and muscle strength (p = 0.03). Statistically significant correlations (p < 0.05) were found between changes in GF and in both ISWT (r = −0.43) and SGRQ impact (r = 0.46); and between RA and ESWT changes (r = −0.45).

Some dimensions of fatigue in COPD are modifiable by a 7-week PR programme. Change in fatigue dimensions in COPD may be associated with a change in maximal or endurance walking distances or QoL.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date14 Sept 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • COPD
  • Fatigue
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Disease management


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