Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Empowering Patients through Education, Motivation, Exercise, and Support

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR)?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary program of care for patients with chronic lung disease. PR includes a medically supervised program of exercise and education, specifically designed for each individual patient to help improve symptoms such as shortness of breath and functional status. It is a fun and interactive learning environment with exercise and education at the center of the program.

What are the goals of PR?

The goals of pulmonary rehabilitation are to control or reduce symptoms, improve functional status, educate patients and families about lung disease and self-management strategies, and improve overall quality of life.

What are the components of PR?

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed with the individual patient in mind. There are core components of every program including medical management, exercise, self-management education, breathing retraining, and psychosocial support to help patients cope with living with a chronic illness.

Who are the members of the PR team?

Most PR programs include a multidisciplinary team of providers including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and nutritionists. The team designs a care program that is individualized for each patient and based on his/her needs.

Who is eligible for PR?

Patients who have obstructive lung diseases such as COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis or those with restrictive lung diseases such as interstitial lung disease (ILD) may be eligible. In addition, patients with sarcoidosis, neuromuscular diseases, lung cancer or those who are preparing for or recovering from lung transplant may also benefit.

What are the components of PR?

There are several core components of a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program and these include:

  • Self management education
  • Exercise training
  • Psychosocial support
  • Promotion of patient involvement in his/her long term care plan

What type of exercise should I expect?

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs tailor the exercise with the individual patient’s needs in mind. Expect to participate in aerobic exercises such as walking or stationary bicycle, strength training exercises, and breathing retraining.

Self management education is a big focus of the program, what will I learn about my lung disease?

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs offer a variety of educational opportunities. Some of the common topics include:

  • Medications and inhaler techniques
  • Understanding lung disease
  • Living and coping with chronic illness
  • Preventing and managing lung infections
  • Stress management and relaxation exercises
  • Oxygen equipment and travel with oxygen
  • Nutrition and health
  • Advanced care planning

What are the benefits of PR?

Studies have shown that patients with COPD who participate in pulmonary rehabilitation have decreased shortness of breath, improved activity tolerance, improved quality of life, better mood and reduced hospitalizations.

To make an appointment: UCSF offers pulmonary rehabilitation to UCSF patients referred by their UCSF lung specialist. The program is located at 2330 Post St., Suite 420. For more information, please call 415-885-7755.