Introduction. Conflicting results have been so far reported about baseline lung function, as predicting factor of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) efficacy. Aim. To ascertain whether or not baseline lung function could predict a benefit in terms of a significant change in 6-min walk test (6MWT)after PR. Methods. Seventy-five stable moderate-to-severe COPD inpatients with comorbidities (complex COPD), allocated to a three-week PR program, were retrospectively evaluated. Pulmonary function, 6MWT, dyspnea (BDI/TDI), and quality of life (EQ-VAS) were assessed before and after PR program. The patients were divided into two groups depending on the change in 6MWT (responders > 30m and nonresponders ≤ 30m). Logistic regression analysis was used. Results. After PR,6MWTperformanceall outcomemeasures significantly improved (㕃 < 0.01). Compared tononresponders (㕁=38), the responders (㕁=37) had lower values in baseline lung function (㕃 < 0.01). Logistic regression analysis showed that FEV1 <50% pred and TL, CO <50% pred were independent predictors of PR efficacy. Conclusions. Our study shows that in stable moderate- to-severe complex COPD inpatients, baseline lung function may predict the response to PR in terms of 6MWT. We also found that complex COPD patients with poor lung function get more benefit from PR.
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