Patients with severe COPD become progressively less mobile and reduce their activities of daily living (ADL). Peripheral muscle wasting is a common finding and has a negative impact on survival. Gains in body weight, muscle mass and strength are associated with better exercise tolerance and longer survival; consequently, improving peripheral muscle function is an appropriate therapeutic target in patients with COPD. Physical activity is the strongest predictor of all-cause mortality in COPD patients, and increased activity is associated with better prognosis, physical and cognitive status, and survival. It is therefore not surprising that rehabilitation has a beneficial effect on symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in stable COPD patients. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation can improve peripheral and respiratory muscle function, nutrition and ADL.

See the entire Pulmonary rehabilitation Chapter