To provide insights into management goals of pulmonary rehabilitation.
To provide information about the structure and setting-up of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.
To provide information to health providers about the outcome of non-pharmacological treatment programmes.
Summary Pulmonary rehabilitation programmes in chronic respiratory diseases have clear effects on improvements in exercise tolerance, reduction of symptoms such as dyspnoea and of health-related quality of life. Further studies are needed in order to define the long-term benefits as well as the optimal programme structure to get the greatest effects. Cost-effectiveness studies are needed, as well as data on more optimal selection procedures, in order to select the best possible candidates for rehabilitation. Exercise training programmes have to integrate present knowledge of muscular adaptations in patients with chronic respiratory diseases as COPD. The shift from empiricism to science in performing pulmonary rehabilitation may result not only in a further improvement in quality of life, but perhaps also in life expectancy for patients with usually incurable and sometimes inexorably progressive pulmonary disease.
- ©ERS 2004
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