The Promise of Pulmonary Rehab
Considerations for Building a COPD Coordinated Respiratory Care Model
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Amongst the growing mound of ways, means and methods to dodge returning COPD admissions within a 30 day window, is a rising service showing promise. According to the American Thoracic Society, “Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a program of education and exercise classes that teaches you about your lungs, how to exercise and do activities with less shortness of breath,and how to ‘live’ better with your lung condition.” Along the path from hospital to home, an outpatient pulmonary rehab program begins to address the physical, psychosocial and motivational needs of the COPD patient within a tailored, individual plan specific to their requirements and abilities.
One study conducted by Andrew L. Ries, MD, MPH; Robert M. Kaplan, PhD; Trina M. Limberg, BS; and Lela M. Prewitt, published in the Annals of internal medicine concluded, “Comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation significantly improved exercise performance and symptoms for patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease…”
An abstract featured in the Chest Journal by Rosa Güell, MD, PhD; et al., finds that, “PR may decrease psychosocial morbidity in COPD patients even when no specific psychological intervention is performed.” Findings from this study also confirm the positive impact of PR on functional exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQL).
And these are only two among many such studies during the last few decades documenting the wellness benefits of pulmonary rehab for the post-acute care COPD patient. Without question, improving wellness equates to a decreased chance of readmission—or shall we say an ‘ounce of rehab is worth a pound of penalties?’