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The Effect of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Pulmonary Function, Gait Ability, and Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
J Kor Phys Ther 2018;30(4):129-134
Published online August 31, 2018;
© 2018 The Korea Society of Physical Therapy.

Jeong-il Kang1, Jun-Su Park2, Dae-Keun Jeong1

1Department of Physical Therapy, Sehan University, Jeollanam-do; 2Haenam Hankook Hospital, Haenam, Korea
Jun-Su Park
Received July 25, 2018; Revised August 21, 2018; Accepted August 30, 2018.
This is an Open Access article distribute under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: This study aims to investigate the changes in pulmonary function, gait ability, and quality of life when NMES is applied along with CBE and to provide basic clinical data to be used in pulmonary rehabilitation guidelines for patients with COPD to treat patients with severe COPD.
Methods: For this study, CBE and NMES of quadriceps femoris on both sides were applied to the experimental group (n=10), and only CBE was applied to the control group (n=10). For a pre-test, a 6-minute walk test was performed, and pulmonary function and health-related quality of life were measured. Moreover, an exercise program was applied to each group for 30 minutes per session, 5 times a week, for 6 weeks. After that, a post-test was conducted the same way as the pre-test.
Results: In the within-group comparison, there were significant differences in forced expiratory volume in one second, 6-minute walk test and health-related quality of life between the experimental group and the control group (p<0.01)(p<0.05). In the between-group comparison, the experimental group showed an increase in forced expiratory volume in one second and 6-minute walk test (p<0.05) and showed a decline in health-related quality of life (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The 6-weeks NMES program improved health-related quality in patients with severe COPD by increasing expiratory volume by reinforcing the function of quadriceps femoris. This finding implies that NMES could be an alternative mode for improving physical functions of patients with severe COPD, who cannot participate in a breathing exercise program or are reluctant to participate.
Keywords : Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), Complex breathing exercise (CBE), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

August 2018, 30 (4)
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