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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Panminerva Medica 2009 June;51(2):95-114

language: English

Pulmonary rehabilitation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Saey D., Bernard S., Gagnon P., Laviolette L., Soicher J., Maltais F., Esgagne P., Coats V., Devost A.-A.

Research Centre, Quebec Cardiology and Pneumology Institute, Quebec City, QC, Canada


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and an important worldwide cause of disability and handicap. Centered around exercise training, pulmonary rehabilitation is a global, multidisciplinary, individualized and comprehensive approach acting on the patient as a whole and not only on the pulmonary component of the disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation is now well recognized as an effective and key intervention in the management of several respiratory diseases particularly in COPD. Modern and effective pulmonary rehabilitation programs are global, multidisciplinary, individualized and use comprehensive approach acting on the patient as a whole and not only on the pulmonary component of the disease. In the last two decades interest for pulmonary rehabilitation is on the rise and a growing literature including several guidelines is now available. This review addresses the recent developments in the broad area of pulmonary rehabilitation as well as new methods to consider in the development of future and better programs. Modern literature for rationale, physiopathological basis, structure, exercise training as well challenges for pulmonary rehabilitation programs are addressed. Among the main challenges of pulmonary rehabilitation, efforts have to be devoted to improve accessibility to early rehabilitation strategies, not only to patients with COPD but to those with other chronic respiratory diseases.

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