Define the patient's goals

An individual evaluation is necessary for every patient who is referred to a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Throughout the pulmonary rehabilitation program, the medical team and the patient work closely together to determine the patient's short and long-term goals. This step is essential if the program is to succeed.

Quantifiable and realistic goals

The goals should be determined by the patient and one of their next-of-kin even before the program begins. Afterwards, they can be re-evaluated, if needed. As much as possible, these goals should be quantifiable. They can vary during the course of the program, since they are linked to the patient's expectations and needs, which may also change. In order to maintain the patient's motivation and compliance, these goals have to be realistic.

Examples of goals that a patient can aim to achieve, to:

  • Breathe better
  • Be more active (determine which activities with the patient)
  • Improve the patient's quality of life
  • Increase their strength and endurance
  • Be able to perform their daily activities (e.g.: take a shower, do some gardening, do small chores around the house)
  • Travel more easily
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce exacerbations and hospitalizations
  • Be more independent
  • Return to work
  • Clean the home
  • Go see a film
  • etc.