Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a multidisciplinary approach to reducing symptoms and improving quality of life (QOL) in individuals with compromised lung function. Outpatient PR programs generally include a individual assessment followed by therapeutic interventions including exercise training, education, and behavior change.
Comprehensive outpatient PR programs may include: team assessment, individual training, psychosocial intervention, exercise training, and follow-up. Individuals should have the ability to perform the exercise training and have a high level of motivation to participate in and complete the program.
Individuals for PR should be medically stable and not limited by another serious or unstable medical condition. Contraindications to PR include but are not limited to:
- Severe psychiatric disturbance (i.e., dementia, organic brain syndrome); or
- Significant or unstable medical conditions (i.e., heart failure, acute cor pulmonale, substance abuse, significant liver dysfunction, metastatic cancer, or disabling stroke); or
- Currently smoking.
The focus of therapy is to educate the individual and establish a program of adaptive changes to a chronic medical illness. The optimal outcome is achieved when the individual continues these adaptive changes on an independent basis after discharge from the program.