Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Research has shown that regular exercise helps people with a lung disease maintain their physical fitness (exercise capacity) as well as improve their symptoms and quality of life.

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a 6 – 8 week evidence-based exercise and education program that teaches people with a lung disease the skills they need to manage their breathlessness and stay well and out of hospital.

The program consists of an individual assessment which includes safe exercise capacity testing and medical history followed by exercise training and education. The exercise component focuses on increasing physical function and is individualised to cover safety considerations. The education component assists patients to manage their condition by providing knowledge in areas such as breathing techniques, using medications and energy conservation.

Who is eligible for Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are generally suitable for people who have a mild, moderate or severe chronic lung disease and who are limited by breathlessness.

What are the benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Research shows that pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the best things patients can do to improve their breathing and wellbeing. The program has been shown to help people breathe easier, improve their quality of life and stay out of hospital. It reduces breathlessness, fatigue, anxiety and depression, improves exercise capacity, emotional function and enhances patients’ sense of control over their condition.

How do patients join a program?

Referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation programs can come from:

  • Respiratory specialists including physicians, surgeons, physiotherapists and nurses.
  • General practitioners.
  • General physicians.
  • Other allied health professionals.
  • Community health professionals.
  • Potential participants (i.e. self referrals).

How can I deliver Pulmonary Rehabilitation for my patients?

Lung Foundation Australia has range of training and resource to support health professionals to design and deliver an evidence-based pulmonary rehabilitation program.