October 14, 2016

Pulmonary rehabilitation baseline data to track growth of the network

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a highly effective evidence-based intervention for people with chronic respiratory disease which have been shown to help people breathe easier, improve their quality of life and stay out of hospital. After completing pulmonary rehabilitation many patients find that they have better health outcomes and can resume activities that they had previously given up. In Australia there is currently a patient population of approximately 750,000 people who would benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. Based on findings in an Australian lung disease prevalence study[1], Lung Foundation Australia estimates the current number of programs available only service approximately 5% of these patients.

In 2015, Lung Foundation Australia undertook a survey of the 274 pulmonary rehabilitation programs registered nationally. The aim was to gather baseline data on the programs including session outcome measures, delivery mode and referral pathways and compare this data year-on-year to track the growth of the network, adherence to best practice and referral pathway opportunities for patients.


The intention is to repeat this annually to maintain an up-to-date database. For the full report please visit https://lungfoundation.com.au/health-professionals/clinical-resources/publications/.

Lung Foundation would like to thank all the pulmonary rehabilitation program coordinators who took the time to respond to our survey questions. We welcome any feedback that would assist us in refining our approach, please email toddr@lungfoundation.com.au or phone freecall 1800 654 301.


[1] Toelle B, Xuan W, Bird T, Abramson M, Atkinson D, Burton D, James A, Jenkins C, Johns D, Maguire G, Musk A, Walters E, Wood-Baker R, Hunter M, Graham B, Southwell P, Vollmer W, Buist A, Marks G. Respiratory symptoms and illness in older Australians: The Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study. Med J Aust 2013;198:144-148