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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a fundamental element of the clinical management and health support of those patients with chronic pulmonary illness who continue to show symptoms and/or continue to have decreased physical functioning despite thorough medical treatment.

Physical results of chronic respiratory illness
• Respiratory muscle dysfunction
• Peripheral (extremities) muscle dysfunction
• Cardiac impairment
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Skeletal disease
• Psychosocial dysfunction
• Sensory deficits

Mechanisms for these co-morbidities

• Malnutrition
• Deconditioning (out of shape)
• Effects of hypoxemia (lack of oxygen)
• Hyperinflation of lungs
• Steroid myopathy or intensive care unit (ICU) neuropathy
• Diaphragmatic (respiratory muscle) fatigue
• Frequent hospitalizations
• Psychosocial dysfunction resulting from anxiety, depression, guilt, dependency, and sleep disturbance
• Effects of various medications

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

A multidisciplinary (Physician, PT, OT, Nursing, Respiratory) continuum of services directed to patients with respiratory disease and their families. This rehabilitation is attained by a team of specialists, with the goal of maintaining and achieving the individual’s maximum goal of physical independence and functioning in the community.

Primary goals of pulmonary rehabilitation

• Pulmonary rehabilitation focuses on the goals to decrease disability, decrease symptoms, increase participation in social and physical activities, and improve the overall quality of life (QOL) for people with chronic pulmonary disease.
• These goals are attained through family and patient education, exercise training, behavioral and psychosocial intervention, and therapy outcome assessment.
• The rehabilitation therapy is aimed toward the unique needs and problems of each individual and is formulated and implemented by a multidisciplinary team of health care specialists.