Pulmonary rehabilitation is an amalgam consisting of both a "physical exercise" component and a "self-management" component. The nature and intensity of the interventions of each component may vary depending upon the individual, the stages of the disease and the comorbidities. However, the success of any program will depend upon the presence of both these components.
This crucial component is recognized as being very effective. It derives much of its significance when one takes into account the anxiety-shortness of breath cycle generated by physical inactivity.
According to probative data from the Joint American College of Chest Physicians / American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the optimal elements (probative evidence according to the medical literature) of a pulmonary rehabilitation program are as follows:
This component seeks to improve the patient's knowledge and skills needed to abide by a specific medical plan and to help guide changes related to adopting a healthy life style (exercise and motivation) in order to enable the patient to control their disease and improve their well being.
This component must not only seek to impart knowledge, but also to change people's behaviours. It requires coaching and follow-up to ensure that the patient builds up their self-confidence and becomes an expert on their disease on a day-to-day basis. It generally includes the following elements: