Whole-Body Vibration Training During a Low Frequency Outpatient Exercise Training Program in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Marc Spielmanns, Rainer Gloeckl, Jana Marie Gropp, Christoph Nell, Andreas Rembert Koczulla, Tobias Boeselt, Jan Hendrik Storre, Wolfram Windisch


Background: The aim of the study was to investigate whether whole-body vibration training (WBVT) can be applied beneficially within an outpatient low frequency exercise program.

Methods: In a prospective, controlled, randomized study, WBVT effectiveness and safety were investigated in COPD stage II-IV patients undergoing a 3-month training program. Participants took part in a 90-min circuit training once a week. On top patients were randomized to either perform squats with WBVT, or without (conventional training group (CTG)). Before and after the intervention, a sit-to-stand test (STST), a 6-min walk test (6-MWT), the COPD assessment test (CAT), and the chronic respiratory disease questionnaire (CRQ) were evaluated.

Results: Twenty-eight out of 55 patients completed the study (n = 12 WBTV, n = 16 CTG). The STST time remained nearly constant for the CTG (delta -0.8 ± 3.1 s) and the WBVT (delta 1.4 ± 3.2 s; P = 0.227), respectively. Similarly, for both WBVT and CTG, the 6-min walk distance remained unchanged (delta 7 ± 55 m vs. 9 ± 45 m, P = 0.961). In three out of four categories, the CRQ scores showed a significant improvement within WBVT, and in one category when comparing across groups. The CAT score dropped by -0.8 ± 2.9 points within CTG and by 2.4 ± 2.7 points within WBVT (P = 0.105). There were no adverse events related to WBVT.

Conclusion: The implementation of WBVT in the context of an outpatient low frequency exercise program did not significantly improve the patients’ exercise capacity. An improvement in CAT and partially in CRQ was shown within WBVT. However, regarding the high dropout rate (49%), these results must be interpreted with caution.


J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(5):396-402
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2763w


Whole-body vibration training; Pulmonary rehabilitation; COPD; Sit-to-stand test; 6-min walk test; Exercise training

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