The aim of World COPD Day is to improve awareness and care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the world. COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease which causes obstructed airflow from the lungs and is a collective name for a variety of lung diseases, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive airways disease. Shortness of breath and difficult, laboured breathing - otherwise known as dyspnoea - is a common feature of COPD and patients diagnosed with COPD will have weak inspiratory muscles. A one-year study of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) in patients with COPD was conducted in 2005 using POWERbreathe and was shown to ellicit:
- Improvements in inspiratory muscle strength of 55% in patients with COPD
- Improvements in endurance of 86% in patients with COPD
- Improvements in quality of life by 21% in patients with COPD
- Improvements in dyspnoea by 36% in patients with COPD
There have been many studies that have demonstrated the efficacy of IMT for patients with COPD, with one published only this September/October (2015) that looked into the effect of home-based inspiratory muscle training on exercise capacity, exertional dyspnea and pulmonary function in COPD patients. It concluded that short-term IMT has beneficial effects on exercise capacity and exertional dyspnea in COPD patients.