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Effect of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme of 8 weeks compared to 12 weeks duration on exercise capacity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (PuRe Duration): protocol for a randomised controlled trial
  1. Joshua Bishop1,2,
  2. Lissa Spencer2,3 and
  3. Jennifer Alison2,3
  1. 1Physiotherapy, Balmain Hospital, Balmain, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Physiotherapy, The University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Physiotherapy, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Joshua Bishop; joshua.bishop{at}


Introduction Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a key component in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is no strong evidence on the optimal duration of PR programmes. The aim of this study is to determine whether an 8-week PR programme is equivalent to a 12-week PR programme in people with COPD.

Methods and analysis This study will be a prospective, multisite, randomised controlled, equivalence trial with assessors blinded to group allocation and intention-to-treat analysis. 72 participants with COPD will be recruited and randomised to either a supervised, twice weekly for 8 weeks or a 12-week PR programme of exercise training and education. Primary outcome: endurance shuttle walk test. Secondary outcomes: will include St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, 6-min walk distance, COPD assessment test, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, physical activity monitoring and hospital admissions at 6 months and 12 months. Repeated measures analysis of variance will be used to analyse differences between the groups for all outcomes.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval was gained from all participating sites. Results of the trial will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Trial registration number ACTRN12616001586404.

  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • exercise
  • COPD exacerbations

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  • Contributors JB, LS and JA designed the trial protocol. JB procured funding for the study with assistance from LS and JA. JB, LS and JA drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding Sydney Local Health District Allied Health Seeding Grant. Physiotherapy Research Foundation Seeding Grant (Project Grant S17 – 019).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer-reviewed.

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