Background: Long-term non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) might improve the outcomes of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with chronic respiratory failure. A study was undertaken to investigate whether nocturnal NIPPV in addition to pulmonary rehabilitation improves health-related quality of life, functional status and gas exchange compared with pulmonary rehabilitation alone in patients with COPD with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure.
Methods: 72 patients with COPD were randomly assigned to nocturnal NIPPV in addition to rehabilitation (n = 37) or rehabilitation alone (n = 35). Outcome measures were assessed before and after the 3-month intervention period.
Results: The Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire total score improved 15.1 points with NIPPV + rehabilitation compared with 8.7 points with rehabilitation alone. The difference of 7.5 points was not significant (p = 0.08). However, compared with rehabilitation alone, the difference in the fatigue domain was greater with NIPPV + rehabilitation (mean difference 3.3 points, p
Conclusion: Non-invasive ventilation augments the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure as it improves several measures of health-related quality of life, functional status and gas exchange.