Balance measures over 12 months in individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Samantha Harrison, Tamara Araujo, Roger Goldstein, Dina Brooks

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Purpose: To describe balance for 12 months in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: Individuals with COPD completed the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Balance Evaluations Systems Test (BEST) and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale pre-pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), post-PR and at three, six and 12 months. If an acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) occurred balance measures were repeated after seven days and one-month. Descriptive data is displayed for balance measures at five time-points (pre-PR, post-PR, 3m, 6m, 12m) in those who did not exacerbate. The outcome score at seven days and one-month post-AECOPD was compared to the assessment closest to the AECOPD.
Results: 42 were recruited and 32 (n=17 (53%) male, (mean (SD) age 68.5 (9.9) years, FEV1% predicted 38 (15)) completed balance measures post-PR. Seventeen, 11 and six patients, who did not exacerbate, completed balance measures at three, six and twelve months respectively with no overall change in balance measures over time. 15/32 patients experienced an AECOPD and of these eight and 11 completed measures at seven days and one-month respectively. Balance declined from baseline to seven days (BBS p=0.010, BEST p=0.002) and to one-month post-AECOPD (BBS p=0.035). Balance recovered from seven days to one-month post-AECOPD but did not return to to baseline levels (BBS p=0.045, BEST p=0.006). There were no changes in balance confidence post-AECOPD.
Conclusions: Balance remained stable over 12 months after completion of PR in those who remained exacerbation free. The impact of an AECOPD on measures of balance persisted event after one-month.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E21-E24
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


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