Cognitive dysfunction is a common impairment associated with COPD. However, little is known about 1) its prevalence among those subjects referred for pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), 2) how it may affect the benefit of PR, 3) whether PR improves cognitive function and 4) whether cognitive dysfunction affects the usability of telehealth technology usually used to deliver in-home PR..
..Mild cognitive dysfunction was found in 41 subjects (73% [95% CI: 60 to 83%]). The MoCA score significantly improved following PR for those people with baseline mild cognitive dysfunction (p< 0.01). There was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between those people with or without mild cognitive dysfunction following PR nor in the proportion of subjects who were autonomous in using the telemonitoring system (83% compared with 71%, p=0.60).
Conclusion: Mild cognitive dysfunction is highly prevalent among those people with COPD referred for PR but does not affect the benefits of PR nor the usability of a telemonitoring system. PR may improve short- and mid-term cognitive function for those people who experience mild cognitive dysfunction at the time they are referred to PR.