COPD Research on ADLs

Centre sheds new light on activities of daily living

Woman reaching for food on shelf

May, 2014 - Activities of Daily Living (ADL) don’t cause most able-bodied people a second thought, but for someone with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) seemingly simple activities like reaching for something in a kitchen cupboard can present real challenges.

These limitations can be difficult to measure.

Thanks to a study lead-authored by West Park research scientist Tania Janaudis Ferreira published in the March issue of Chest Journal, a reliable, valid tool to measure ADL limitations is closer to reality.

In the study, Janaudis Ferreira launched a literature review to see if there were already measurement tools available.

“International guidelines don’t say how to measure ADL limitations, and nothing said if we even should measure ADL limitations,” Janaudis Ferreira says. “There is no consensus on best tools.”

Janaudis Ferreira’s main goal for the study is simple. “I want to draw attention to the measurement of ADL.”

Given the attention received so far from her study’s publication, her goal has been achieved.

The study was favourably reviewed by a renowned peer - also in Chest Journal - and a PhD student from Brazil was motivated to join West Park’s research team after reading the study and is focusing on arm activities and ADL in people with COPD.

With that positive response, it’s not hard to imagine that more effective ways to improve the everyday lives of COPD patients is in the near future.