Background: There are only sparse data concerning the long-term effects of PR under the conditions in Germany, e.g. 3-week inpatient rehabilitation.Method: This prospective study investigates whether QoL and dyspnea improve in COPD patients up to one year after a 3-week inpatient PR. For this purpose the following data were collected at the beginning (t0) and end (t1) of PR and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months (t2-t5) after discharge: total and domain scores of the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and the transition dyspnea index (TDI). Patient population: 223 COPD-patients (GOLD-stage 2-4, age 57.7±6.9 years, 62.3% male, FEV1 49.9±14.8% pred.).Results:

Tab. 1: Course of QoL and dyspnea Scores in 233 COPD-patients in the year after PR (mean ± SD, all cursive data = p<0.01 versus t0).Discussion: Tab. 1 shows that the mean SGRQ total score improved at t1 by 9.3 points with SRM by 0.8 (strong effect). After 12 months the mean score was still 4.3 points better than at t0 (SRM = 0.3). All domains of the SGRQ improved clinically relevant at the end of rehabilitation and up to 12 months after discharge. In addition, the TDI improved at t1 by 4.6 points (MID=1) and remained clinically relevant improved over 12 months.Conclusion: These results provide evidence of the positive long-term effects of a 3-week inpatient PR.