Article title: Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Authors: Richard Casaburi, MD, PhD, Richard Zuwallack, MD
Journal/Source: New England Journal of Medicine, 2009; 360:1329-35.
Discussion: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth cause of death in the United States and kills roughly equal numbers of men and women. This article discusses the pathophysiology of COPD and the clinical use of pulmonary rehabilitation. It begins with a case vignette and concludes with pulmonary rehabilitation recommendations for the patient presented in the case.
Pulmonary rehabilitation has proven beneficial in reducing dyspnea, improving functional capacity, and quality of life for patients with COPD. Many programs are based on a multidisciplinary hospital-based outpatient program and run from 6 to 12 weeks, featuring three supervised sessions per week, 3 to 4 hours each. Currently, rehabilitation programs are available to only a small fraction of COPD patients, with program availability particularly problematic for lower-income, minority, and rural populations.
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