The goal of Dr. Pat Camp’s research is to develop novel, patient-oriented strategies to improve the physical activity of individuals with COPD. Previous research on exercise in lung disease has focused largely on mechanistic studies of ventilatory and musculoskeletal abnormalities; or on the short-term benefits of exercise for stable, moderate-severe COPD patients.
While improvements in aerobic capacity and muscle strength have been reported, there remain important gaps in our knowledge. First, we know little about the benefits of therapeutic exercise at key points in the natural history of COPD, such as: during or after an acute exacerbation; in COPD patients with systemic complications such as cardiovascular disease; or in patients who are pre- or post-lung transplantation. Second, previous research has primarily focused on the short-term benefits of exercise typically delivered in hospital-based programs, but many patients do not maintain their exercise routine after discharge from a hospital-based program, or may not have hospital-based programs in their community.
Rehabilitation professionals require alternative ways to deliver safe and effective respiratory exercise programs.