Open Access Open Badges Research article

A controlled study of community-based exercise training in patients with moderate COPD

Shefalee Amin1, Marlon Abrazado1, Molly Quinn1, Thomas W Storer1, Chi-Hong Tseng2 and Christopher B Cooper1*

Author Affiliations

1 Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory, Departments of Physiology and Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, 37-131 Center for Health Sciences, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1690, USA

2 Department of Biomathematics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, AV-327 Center of Health Sciences, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1690, USA

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2014, 14:125  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-125

Published: 4 August 2014



The effectiveness of clinic-based pulmonary rehabilitation in advanced COPD is well established, but few data exist for less severe patients treated in alternative settings. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a novel, community-based exercise program (CBE) was feasible and effective for patients with moderate COPD.


Nineteen patients with moderate COPD (mean FEV1 62%) and self-reported exercise impairment were randomized to 12-weeks of progressive endurance and strength training at a local health club under the guidance of a certified personal trainer, or to continuation of unsupervised habitual physical activity. Outcomes assessed at baseline and 12 weeks included session compliance, intensity adherence, treadmill endurance time, muscle strength, dyspnea, and health status.


Compliance was 94% and adherence was 83%. Comparisons between CBE and control groups yielded the following mean (SEM) differences in favor of CBE: endurance time 134 (74) seconds versus -59 (49) seconds (P = 0.041) and TDI 5.1 (0.8) versus -0.2 (0.5) (P < 0.001). The CBE group increased muscle strength (weight lifted) by 11.8 kilograms per subject per week of training (P < 0.001). SGRQ was not significantly changed.


We demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of a novel community-based exercise program involving health clubs and personal trainers for patients with moderate COPD.

Trial registration Identifier NCT01985529.

Community; Exercise rehabilitation moderate COPD