Morbidly obese patients with pulmonary disease - A retrospective study of four cases: A brief report

John Guernelli, Stanley F. Wainapel, Shiela Pack, Esmeralda Miranda-Lama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Morbid obesity is a common chronic condition that predisposes affected individuals to a decrease in functional status. The purpose of this case series is to highlight the benefit of institutional rehabilitation for this subgroup of patients. A 6-mo retrospective review of 117 consecutive admissions to the rehabilitation unit of a municipal hospital center was conducted. A total of four patients (3.4%) met the criteria for morbid obesity. We present the brief case histories of these four subjects. All showed significant functional improvement and were able to return home after a mean length of stay of 61 days. They each required specialized rehabilitation intervention and specialized equipment such as extra large beds and oversize walkers. All four subjects had obstructive pulmonary disease, accounting for their initial hospital admission. This study demonstrates that inpatient rehabilitation improves functional status in morbidly obese patients. Further research regarding physiatric intervention in the morbidly obese patient is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-65
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999



  • Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Obesity
  • Physiatry
  • Pulmonary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

Cite this