The purpose of this study is to determine if osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is
effective for persons with emphysema as a component of their chronic obstructive pulmonary
OMT sessions are designed to improve chest wall compliance and diaphragmatic function which
produce an immediate positive change in pulmonary function parameters and chest wall
mobility. This research project will be a significant step in expanding the understanding of
the role of OMT in the treatment of chronic lung disease. It is expected to yield evidence
that OMT is an important adjunctive modality that improves pulmonary function, increases
exercise tolerance, relieves dyspnea, and improves quality of life in those with COPD, and
that would have widespread clinical application plus significant economic benefits.
Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to receive either OMT or sham
treatments once a week for 13 weeks. Outcome measures will be obtained at baseline;
immediately following the first treatment; at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after initiation of
treatment; and 4 weeks after termination of the treatment. Outcome variables include
pulmonary function tests; quality-of-life questionnaires (including emotional functioning,
fatigue, and dyspnea); and measurements of exercise tolerance and chest wall mobility.