Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (cont.)
Sat Sharma, MD, FRCPC, FCCP
Ryland P Byrd Jr, MD
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Zab Mosenifar, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are first conducted in an outpatient setting and can be continued at home.
With pulmonary rehabilitation, improvements can occur in your quality of life, well being, and health status. These improvements include a reduction in respiratory symptoms and an increase in tolerance for functional activities (eg, walking, less anxiety and depression, increased feelings of control, self-esteem).
Pulmonary rehabilitation also results in substantial savings in health care costs by reducing the use of hospital and medical resources.
A successful pulmonary rehabilitation program requires a team approach. Health care professionals who have experience in treating COPD provide individual program components.
This multidisciplinary approach emphasizes education for you and your family, smoking cessation, medical management (eg, oxygen, immunization), respiratory and chest physiotherapy, physical therapy with bronchopulmonary hygiene, exercise, vocational rehabilitation, and psychosocial support.
Education is key to comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation because it prepares you and your family to be actively involved in your care. This reliance on you to assume charge of your care is known as collaborative self-management.
Exercise training is a mandatory component of pulmonary rehabilitation. People with COPD should regularly perform aerobic exercises for the lower extremities (eg, legs) to enhance performance of daily activities and to reduce dyspnea. Exercise training on the upper extremities (eg, arms) improves dyspnea and allows increased activities of daily living.
Breathing retraining techniques (eg, diaphragmatic, pursed lip breathing) may improve your breathing pattern and prevent airway compression.
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