The presence of extra-pulmonary treatable traits increases the likelihood of responding to pulmonary rehabilitation

Sara Souto-Miranda, Vânia Rocha, Maria Aurora Mendes, Paula Simão, Vitória Martins, Martijn A Spruit, Alda Marques*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Studies suggest that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are worse at baseline respond better to pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Identifying treatable traits (TTs) may help to distinguish responders from non-responders. We explored the impact of PR on extra-pulmonary traits of people with COPD and whether the presence of TT influences the type of response to PR.

METHODS: A comprehensive assessment of 9 TT including symptoms (dyspnoea, fatigue, anxiety and depression), functional capacity, deconditioning, balance, impact of the disease and health-related quality of life was conducted before and after a 12-week community-based PR programme. Pre-post differences between people with or without each TT at baseline were compared with independent samples t-tests or Mann-Whitney U tests. Proportion of responders between groups were explored with chi-square tests and odds ratio.

RESULTS: 102 people with COPD were included (70 [65; 75] years old, 78% male, FEV1 47 [36; 60] %predicted). They had a median of 3 (out of 9) TTs per person and each patient responded on average to 5 (out of 9) outcomes of PR. People with TT were more responsive than those without them in all outcomes (p < 0.05) except for the 1-min sit-to-stand test. The presence of TT increased 4 to 20 times the likelihood of being a good responder.

CONCLUSIONS: Identification of baseline extra-pulmonary TT in people with COPD showed the potential to inform on PR responsiveness and might therefore be an important strategy for patient prioritization, treatment personalisation (i.e., activation of the most suitable components) and optimisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107086
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Cite this