Pulmonary Rehabilitation Exercise Prescription in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Review of Selected Guidelines: AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CARDIOVASCULAR AND PULMONARY REHABILITATION

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. 2016 Mar-Apr;36(2):75-83. doi: 10.1097/HCR.0000000000000171.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with disabling dyspnea, skeletal muscle dysfunction, and significant morbidity and mortality. Current guidelines recommend pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) to improve dyspnea, functional capacity, and quality of life. Translating exercise science into safe and effective exercise training requires interpretation and use of multiple guidelines and recommendations. The purpose of this statement is to summarize for clinicians 3 current chronic obstructive pulmonary disease guidelines for exercise that may be used to develop exercise prescriptions in the PR setting. The 3 guidelines have been published by the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society, and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. In addition to summarizing these 3 guidelines, this statement describes clinical applications, explores areas of uncertainty, and suggests strategies for providing effective exercise training, given the diversity of guidelines and patient complexity.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / standards
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / rehabilitation
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory Therapy / methods*