Most frequently used and effective designs for delivering pulmonary rehabilitation during acute exacerbations of COPD

OutcomeMost effective interventionPooled effects (95% CI)
Exercise capacity: 6MWTExercise + breathing techniquesWMD −41.06 (−131.70–49.58)
Dyspnoea symptoms: modified Borg scaleBreathing techniquesWMD 1.90 (0.53–3.27)
Health-related quality of life: SGRQExercise + breathing techniquesWMD 14.64 (8.73–20.54)
Length of hospitalisation: number of daysBreathing techniquesES 0.15 (−0.28–0.57)

Inpatient setting within 24–48 h of hospital admission. Components are exercise training, education and psychosocial support and breathing techniques. 6MWT: 6-min walk test; WMD: weighted mean difference; ES: effect size; SGRQ: St George's Respiratory Questionnaire.