PurposeThis study compared the effects of inpatient-based rehabilitation program of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using non-immersive virtual reality (VR) training with a traditional pulmonary rehabilitation program. The aims of this study were to determine 1) whether rehabilitation featuring both VR as well as exercise training provides benefits over exercise training (ET) alone and 2) whether rehabilitation featuring VR training instead of exercise training provides equivalent benefits.
Patients and methodsThe study recruited 106 patients with COPD to a 2-week high-intensity, five times a week intervention. Randomized into three groups, 34 patients participated in a traditional pulmonary rehabilitation program including endurance exercise training (ET), 38 patients participated in traditional pulmonary rehabilitation, including both endurance exercise training and virtual reality training (ET+VR) and 34 patients participated in pulmonary rehabilitation program including virtual reality training but no endurance exercise training (VR). The traditional pulmonary rehabilitation program consisted of fitness exercises, resistance respiratory muscle and relaxation training. Xbox 360® and Kinect® Adventures software were used for the VR training of lower and upper body strength, endurance, trunk control and dynamic balance. Comparison of the changes in the Senior Fitness Test was the primary outcome. Analysis was performed using linear mixed-effects models.
ResultsThe comparison between ET and ET+VR groups showed that ET+VR group was superior to ET group in Arm Curl (p<0.003), Chair stand (p<0.008), Back scratch (p<0.002), Chair sit and reach (p<0.001), Up and go (p<0.000), 6-min walk test (p<0.011). Whereas, the comparison between ET and VR groups showed that VR group was superior to ET group in Arm Curl (p<0.000), Chair stand (p<0.001), 6-min walk test (p<0.031).
ConclusionResults suggest that pulmonary rehabilitation program supplemented with VR training is beneficial intervention to improve physical fitness in patients with COPD.