Effectiveness of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation: systematic review and meta-analysis.

20 Sep 2022


Despite proven effectiveness for people with chronic respiratory diseases, practical barriers to attending centre-based pulmonary rehabilitation (centre-PR) limit accessibility. We aimed to review the clinical effectiveness, components and completion rates of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation (home-PR) compared to centre-PR or usual care.


Using Cochrane methodology, we searched (January 1990 to August 2021) six electronic databases using a PICOS (population, intervention, comparison, outcome, study type) search strategy, assessed Cochrane risk of bias, performed meta-analysis and narrative synthesis to answer our objectives and used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations framework to rate certainty of evidence.


We identified 16 studies (1800 COPD patients; 11 countries). The effects of home-PR on exercise capacity and/or health-related quality of life (HRQoL) were compared to either centre-PR (n=7) or usual care (n=8); one study used both comparators. Compared to usual care, home-PR significantly improved exercise capacity (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.88, 95% CI 0.32-1.44; p=0.002) and HRQoL (SMD -0.62, 95% CI -0.88--0.36; p<0.001). Compared to centre-PR, home-PR showed no significant difference in exercise capacity (SMD -0.10, 95% CI -0.25-0.05; p=0.21) or HRQoL (SMD 0.01, 95% CI -0.15-0.17; p=0.87).


Home-PR is as effective as centre-PR in improving functional exercise capacity and quality of life compared to usual care, and is an option to enable access to pulmonary rehabilitation.

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Resource information

Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
  • Rehabilitation
  • Treatment - non-drug
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Uzzaman MN, Agarwal D, Chan SC, Patrick Engkasan J, Habib GMM, Hanafi NS, Jackson T, Jebaraj P, Khoo EM, Mirza FT, Pinnock H, Shunmugam RH, Rabinovich RA