[Characteristics of non-pharmacological interventions in the elderly with COPD. Smoking cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, nutritional management and patient education]

Rev Mal Respir. 2018 Jun;35(6):626-641. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2017.12.004. Epub 2018 Jun 22.
[Article in French]


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a respiratory disorder responsible for a high mortality and disability. People older than 65 years are more commonly affected than younger people and tend to present with more symptoms and a greater level of disability. Non-pharmacological interventions play an important role in the management of all patients with COPD and this is particularly true in the elderly. Given the improvement in quality of life and risk of hospitalization, smoking cessation should be promoted to patients of all ages. Increased physical activity is associated with reduced respiratory symptoms. Tests such as the "Short Physical Performance Battery" can be useful in frailer older people with COPD, while walking tests such as the 6-minute walk test are used as an assessment before pulmonary rehabilitation. Increased physical activity should be combined with nutritional management. Screening for undernutrition by questionnaire, body mass index and albumin quantification is recommended in the elderly. In case of undernutrition, oral supplementation seems to reduce the risk of re-admission. All these measures must be included in an education program adapted to the elderly comorbidities (hearing loss, isolation…).

Keywords: BPCO; COPD; Elderly; Respiratory rehabilitation; Réhabilitation respiratoire; Sevrage tabagique; Smoking cessation; Sujets âgés.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Diet Therapy* / methods
  • Diet Therapy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Respiratory Therapy* / methods
  • Respiratory Therapy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Cessation* / methods
  • Smoking Cessation* / statistics & numerical data