Year : 2006 | Volume
: 1 | Issue : 2 | Page : 65--66
Pulmonary rehabilitation: The standard practice… not yet standard
Mohamed S Al Moamary
College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. King Abdulaziz Medical City. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Mohamed S Al Moamary
College of Medicine, P.O. Box 84252 Riyadh - 11671
|How to cite this article:|
Al Moamary MS. Pulmonary rehabilitation: The standard practice… not yet standard.Ann Thorac Med 2006;1:65-66
|How to cite this URL:|
Al Moamary MS. Pulmonary rehabilitation: The standard practice… not yet standard. Ann Thorac Med [serial online] 2006 [cited 2019 Dec 12 ];1:65-66
Available from: http://www.thoracicmedicine.org/text.asp?2006/1/2/65/27103
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a multidisciplinary program for patients with chronic respiratory impairment that is individually tailored and designed to optimize physical and social performance. The goals of PR are to reduce symptoms, improve activity and daily functioning and restore the highest level of independent functioning in patients with respiratory disease. Typical candidates for PR are symptomatic patients with chronic lung disease who are aware of their disability and are motivated to participate actively in their health care. Therefore, PR is not limited to chronic bronchitis and emphysema but extended to other diseases, e.g., lung fibrosis, bronchiectasis, neuromuscular disease.
Pulmonary rehabilitation benefits include improvements in dyspnea, exercise performance, improvement in health-related quality of life and reduction in health care utilization. It is considered for patients with an FEV of <80% of the predicted value and to be an essential part of the therapeutic options for the treatment of a patient with chronic lung disease. There are variations in the duration of PR; however, the latest update of the Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease recommends duration of ³ 2 months. There is no fixed format for PR with differences in terms of duration, number of sessions, training intensity. However, a reasonable PR should include exercise, education and psychosocial components.
In addition to pulmonary function tests, health-related quality of life instruments have a definite role to assess severity and progression of the disease. Exercise capacity and quality of life are often impaired in proportion to lung function impairment. The improvement of exercise tolerance has been estimated from incremental exercise tests, constant work rate tests or free walking tests. Therefore, it is not a surprise to know that PR improves endurance exercise time by an average of 87%. Different pharmacological modalities are not the only methods of treatment; the addition of PR will lead to greater treatment effects as manifested by improvements in exercise performance, symptoms, health-related quality of life and health care expenditure. These benefits were confirmed in a recent multicenter study that showed PR will lead to less utilization of health care services and the benefits will be sustained for over 18 months, though gradually declining., Moreover, patients undergoing lung volume reduction surgery in a multicenter study were able to perform exercise at higher intensity.
All the available data clearly indicates that PR is an essential component of the management of patients with chronic lung diseases. Nevertheless, it is not yet widely utilized in many developing countries. A reasonable program can be initiated with treadmill machines, arm ergometers and stationary bicycles. A physiotherapist or respiratory therapist could serve as the key person in a multidisciplinary team. Launching such a program should be within the scope of an interested chest physician and a respiratory therapist or physiotherapist. Well-written PR guidelines are available online with the description of the procedure, contents and resources.,,, A proposal to launch PR program should show the benefits, limitations, policy and procedure, space required, manpower and total costs. Documentation of the benefits and cost-saving to the health system would support the chances to get PR program approved.
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