To describe balance for 12 mo in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Individuals with COPD completed the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), the Balance Evaluation Systems Test (BEST), and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale before pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), post-PR and at 3, 6, and 12 mo. If an acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) occurred, balance measures were repeated after 7 d and 1 mo. Descriptive data are displayed for balance measures at 5 time-points (pre-PR, post-PR, 3 mo, 6 mo, and 12 mo) in those without exacerbations. The outcome score at 7 d and 1 mo post-AECOPD was compared with the assessment closest to the AECOPD.
A total of 42 patients were recruited and 32 patients (17 male; mean age ± standard deviation = 68.5 ± 9.9 yr; FEV1 % predicted =38 ± 15%) completed balance measures post-PR. Seventeen, 11, and 6 patients, who did not exacerbate, completed balance measures at 3, 6, and 12 mo, respectively, with no overall change in balance measures over time. Of 32 patients, 15 experienced an AECOPD and of these, 8 and 11 completed measures at 7 d and 1 mo, respectively. Balance declined from baseline to 7 d (BBS, P = .010; BEST, P = .002) and to 1 mo post-AECOPD (BBS, P = .035). Balance recovered from 7 d to 1 mo post-AECOPD but did not return to baseline levels (BBS, P = .045; BEST, P = .006). There were no changes in balance confidence post-AECOPD.
Balance remained stable over 12 mo after completion of PR in those who remained exacerbation-free. The impact of an AECOPD on measures of balance persisted after 1 mo.