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An Update on Pulmonary Rehabilitation

An Update on Pulmonary Rehabilitation

In 2006, the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) released a joint statement on pulmonary rehabilitation, a comprehensive, interdisciplinary intervention that had been recognized as a core component in managing patients with chronic respiratory disease. Since that time, there has been considerable growth in the science and application of pulmonary rehabilitation. In the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the ATS and ERS updated the 2006 statement, addressing newly gained knowledge surrounding the efficacy and scope of pulmonary rehabilitation. A New Definition A key component of the new statement is an updated definition of pulmonary rehabilitation endorsed by the ATS and ERS based on current insights. It states that “pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive intervention based on a thorough patient assessment followed by patient-tailored therapies, including (but not limited to) exercise training, education, and behavior changes.” The definition notes that pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to improve the physical and emotional condition of people with chronic respiratory disease and to promote the long-term adherence to health-enhancing behaviors. Bundling Approaches Whereas components of pulmonary rehabilitation can be provided as good medical care, pulmonary rehabilitation combines these interventions. The major components of pulmonary rehabilitation include exercise training and behavioral interventions. Dr. ZuWallack says that, when used as a bundle in pulmonary rehabilitation, these interventions are tailored to the needs and goals of the individual patient. To meet these goals, pulmonary rehabilitation is provided by an experienced and dedicated interdisciplinary team, including a combination of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, behaviorists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, and social workers. “Pulmonary rehabilitation programs will vary...
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