Sensitivity analysis: summary of treatment effect estimates, weighted according to outcome, including studies with PEDro scores >5 only

VO2peak L·min−1Peak work rate WCycle endurance minISWT mESWT6MWT m12MWT m
Additional exercise training
 LL strength−0.10 (−0.43–0.23); N1=11i versus 13c9.00 (−14.60–32.60); N1=11i versus 13c−4.60 (−102.05–92.85); N1=11i versus 13c
 UL/LL strength30.90 (−10.39–72.20)#; N2=45i versus 39c
 Other26.70 (0.94–52.46); N1=36i versus 36c
NIV0.08 (−0.15–0.32); N1=9i versus 10c8.00 (−5.53–21.53); N1=9i versus 10c3.50 (−1.38–8.38); N1=10i versus 11c23.71 (2.65–44.77); N2=27i versus 31c
Oxygen−0.04 (−0.26–0.18); N1=14i versus 15c3.00 (−16.32–22.32); N1=14i versus 15c4.70 (−1.96–11.36); N1=14i versus 15c490.00 (237.90–742.10) m; N1=24i versus 23c
Heliox0.02 (−0.04–0.08); N2=16i versus 15c4.00 (−4.15–12.15); N1=16i versus 15c5.20 (−0.17–10.57); N1=16i versus 15c
Prescription medications
 Tiotropium5.35 (0.89–9.81); N1=47i versus 44c7.30 (−15.96–30.56); N1=57i versus 63c
 Anabolic steroids0.10 (−0.02–0.23); N1=33i versus 30c4.00 (−5.28–13.28); N1=33i versus 30c−63.0 (−91.09– −34.91); N1=10i versus 7c
 Growth hormone0.05 (0.01–0.09); N2=18i versus 18c−11.00 (−26.48–4.48); N1=8i versus 8c−26.21 (−148.92–96.50)#; N2=22i versus 23c
 Vitamin D0.64 (0.07–1.22); N1=25i versus 24c7.00 (−0.28–14.28); N1=25i versus 24c29.0 (−7.62–65.62); N1=25i versus 24c
 Hypertonic saline−190.0 (−247.34– −132.66); N1=30i versus 27c
Nutritional supplementation
 Proteins/fats−0.03 (−0.12–0.06); N1=38i versus 42c9.00 (4.32–13.68); N1=38i versus 42c2.86 (−2.00–7.72); N1=10i versus 10c−17.40 (−43.52–8.72); N1=25i versus 35c82.70 (−38.59–203.99); N1=16i versus 10c
 Creatine0.14 (−0.02–0.29); N1=14i versus 11c4.29 (−9.53–18.11); N1=14i versus 11c−3.62 (−31.75–24.52); N2=52i versus 53c−0.67  (−2.96–1.63) min; N2=52i versus 53c
 Amino acids
Breathing exercises
 Inspiratory muscle training0.48 (−0.17–1.14) units; N1=20i versus 17c29.68 (−9.48–68.84); N2=34i versus 30c
 Breathing retraining−12.58 (−35.93–10.77); N1=20i versus 20c
Other3.20 (−24.06–30.46); N1=16i versus 25c64.80 (−12.94–142.54); N1=10i versus 10c
  • Data are presented as mean difference (95% CI), where the mean difference is the change from baseline and a positive effect estimate favours intervention (“add-on” therapies). Data from individual studies may appear more than once across different outcomes (columns). VO2peak: peak oxygen uptake; ISWT: incremental shuttle walk test; ESWT: endurance shuttle walk test; 6MWT: 6-min walk test; 12MWT: 12-min walk test; LL: lower limb; UL: upper limb; NIV: noninvasive ventilation; Nx: number of participants (x is number of studies); i: intervention group; c: control group. #: random effects model; : standardised mean difference. Bold indicates statistically significant treatment effect.