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Dance-based versus conventional exercise in pulmonary rehabilitation: A retrospective service evaluation

Lucy Gardiner, Harriet Shannon, Leyla Osman

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Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is well recognised for improving exercise tolerance and health related qual- ity of life (HRQoL) in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, attendance and completion rates for PR remain suboptimal. Dance is an effective alternative approach to exercise in other chronic disease populations. Latin-based dance may also serve to improve engagement in pulmonary rehabilitation.


To conduct a service evaluation of a community-based PR programme that includes Latin dance-based exercise, and compare it with outcomes from a com- parable, conventional programme. The aim of the evaluation was to ascertain whether the dance-based programme resulted in improvements in exercise tolerance and HRQoL. Further, to determine any differences in completion rates between the dance-based and conventional programmes.


This retrospective service evaluation compared outcomes from people with COPD who were enrolled into the Barts PR service conventional and dance-based PR pro- grammes, between February and May 2019. The programmes were identical, other than the style of aerobic exercise. Within- and between- group differences following PR in exercise tolerance and HRQoL were compared. Completion rates were also compared.


In total, four participants enrolled into the dance-based group, and five participants to the conventional group. Median change in exercise tolerance following PR was 47.5m in the dance group (incremental shuttle walk test) and 35.0m in the conventional group (six-minute walk test). Median change in the COPD Assessment Test was -2 in the dance group and +1 in the conventional group. Completion rate was 34.5% higher in the dance group. There were no statistically significant differences reported.


The results of this service evaluation were inconclusive. Further data are required in the form of a larger, adequately powered observational study.

2020 Journal (Vol. 52)
Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care. Volume 52. Issue 1. 2020. Article on: p 38-50
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