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Home-based pulmonary rehabilitation could be as effective as hospital-based programmes among people with COPD

Home-based pulmonary rehabilitation could be as effective as hospital-based programmes among people with COPD

Researchers in Australia have found that home-based pulmonary rehabilitation programmes could provide similar benefits as hospital-based programmes for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a treatment that aims to reduce the physical and emotional impacts of a chronic lung condition on a person’s life. It combines exercise training with education about ways people can help keep themselves as healthy as possible.

The study, presented yesterday (15 May, 2016) at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco, USA, involved 166 people with COPD.

Participants completed either a traditional, hospital-based pulmonary rehabilitation or one carried out at home. Each programme lasted for 8 weeks.

The home-based programme involved an initial visit from a physiotherapist, which participants used to design their own exercise programme, followed by weekly motivational calls with a healthcare professional.

In the other group, the hospital pulmonary rehabilitation course involved two hospital visits a week, during which participants took part in exercise and education sessions.

At the end of the 8-week programmes, progress among each participant was assessed via a walking test and questionnaires. The researchers found that both groups experienced similar benefits from their respective programmes.

The researchers believe that this finding could offer hope for using home-based pulmonary rehabilitation programmes as a way of supporting people unable to regularly get to a hospital.

Read the press release

Read our guidelines on pulmonary rehabilitation