Pulmonary rehabilitation

Also known as PR or pulmonary rehab

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically supervised self-management programme lasting 6 to 12 weeks to help people who have chronic breathing problems.

It is one of the few treatments options proven to be effective in improving the quality of life and reducing hospital admissions of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Other chronic respiratory conditions it can be used for include sarcoidosis, bronchiectasis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cystic fibrosis.

What does it involve?

Pulmonary rehabilitation classes are run by physiotherapists and respiratory teams and are often held at local hospitals or community centres 2 or 3 times per week. Topics usually include:

  • exercise training — tailored for you
  • nutritional counselling
  • education on your lung disease or condition and how to manage it
  • energy-conserving techniques
  • breathing strategies
  • psychological counselling and/or group support.

Attending a programme can't cure your lung disease or completely ease your breathing problems. But it can help you function better in your daily life.

Learn more

Pulmonary rehabilitation NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Pulmonary rehabilitation Australian Lung Foundation

Reviewed By: Health Navigator