ELF survey results: fewer than 2% of eligible patients take part in pulmonary rehab, but those that do take part recommend it
A new research article, based on a survey we did of people living with lung conditions about pulmonary rehabilitation, has been published in ERJ Open Research.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a programme of exercise and education designed to help people with chronic lung conditions to manage their symptoms. It is a very effective option for many, but most people that could benefit from it do not take part.
The survey, which was available in 10 languages and produced with the European Respiratory Society, asked people with lung conditions for their perspectives on the treatment.
1,685 people with chronic lung conditions completed the survey. And although the majority said that pulmonary rehabilitation should be available, almost half had never taken part.
Many people reported that they had never been offered the treatment or told about the benefits. Others said that they did not get enough information to be able to decide or were not sure that it would be helpful.
At the same time, the survey results suggest that many people who have had pulmonary rehabilitation see it as an important part of their care, and reported improvements to their physical and emotional wellbeing. When asked “what would you say to someone considering attending a pulmonary rehabilitation session for the first time?” typical answers included “best thing I ever did to manage this disease” and “it works!”.
Although the survey does not represent the perspectives of all people living with breathing problems, the results suggest that people want to learn about and be able to take part in pulmonary rehabilitation. It is up to healthcare providers and systems to tackle some of the barriers and make pulmonary rehabilitation an option for more people.