Balance and COPD

Balance Assessment and Training in Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Balance and COPD

Previous studies have shown that people with COPD have worse balance than healthy adults of the same age, leading to increased risk for falls. Pulmonary rehabilitation is recommended for people with COPD but these programs don’t often include balance training or fall prevention strategies. We have done a few studies looking at balance training in pulmonary rehabilitation. Our latest one showed that balance training can be incorporated into pulmonary rehabilitation, delivered by the physiotherapists who work in the program. Patients who participated in the balance training improved their balance and most of them enjoyed the training, found that it helped them with everyday activities and wished to continue with the training. We have also done some research into the balance tests that can be used for people with COPD.

Take home message: There are several different tests that can be used to measure balance and the change in scores before and after balance training can indicate improvements in balance. Balance training can and should be incorporated into pulmonary rehabilitation, especially for people who have a history of falls.   


Incorporating Balance Training into Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Balance Test Scores

Which Balance Subcomponents Distinguish Between Fallers and Non-Fallers in People with COPD?