Developing concepts in the pulmonary rehabilitation of COPD

Respir Med. 2008 Jun;102 Suppl 1:S17-26. doi: 10.1016/S0954-6111(08)70004-0.


Randomised trials have demonstrated that pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) can improve dyspnoea, exercise tolerance and health related quality of life. Rehabilitation has traditionally been provided in secondary care to patients with moderate to severe disease. Current concepts are however recommending that it should be delivered in a primary and community care setting for patients with milder disease. There are several opportunities for spreading the word for PR in primary care. One of these is to improve access to PR for all those disabled by their disease by the increase of community schemes and one such scheme being utilised in Canada is reviewed. The essential components of PR include behavior change, patient self-management and prescriptive exercise. In the last decade new strategies have been developed to enhance the effects of exercise training. An overview of these new approaches being an adjunct to exercise training is reviewed. Although the role of exercise training is well established, we are only just beginning to appreciate the importance of behavior change and patient self-management in contributing to improved health and diminished healthcare resource utilisation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Canada
  • Continuity of Patient Care / standards*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology