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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pulmonary rehabilitation benefits COPD patients

Pulmonary rehabilitation is now top-line recommendation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), particularly those with symptoms that result in changes from a normal routine, or decrease in daily life activities.

It generally involves three elements:
  1. Exercise training
  2. Education
  3. Psychological support
Evidence suggests that patients with mild COPD, or FEV1 of 80 percent or less, already show evidence of decreased activity level, which results in muscles loss that makes it increasingly difficult for these patients to exert themselves. 

Lacasse et al showed that pulmonary rehabilitation had two benefits for for COPD patients:
  1. Improved quality of life
  2. Reducing dyspnea and fatigue
Respiratory therapists should be proactive in encouraging patients with COPD participate in a pulmonary rehabilitation program.


  1. Jacome, Cristina, Alda Marques, "Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Mild COPD: A Systemic review," Respiratory Care, April, 2014, volume 59, number 4, pages 588-594
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