Canadian Respiratory Journal

Canadian Respiratory Journal / 2010 / Article

Special Article | Open Access

Volume 17 |Article ID 425975 |

Darcy D Marciniuk, Dina Brooks, Scott Butcher, Richard Debigare, Gail Dechman, Gordon Ford, Veronique Pepin, Darlene Reid, Andrew W Sheel, Micheal K Stickland, David C Todd, Shannon L Walker, Shawn D Aaron, Meyer Balter, Jean Bourbeau, Paul Hernandez, Francois Maltais, Denis E O’Donnell, Donna Bleakney, Brian Carlin, Roger Goldstein, Stella K Muthuri, "Optimizing Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Practical Issues: A Canadian Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline", Canadian Respiratory Journal, vol. 17, Article ID 425975, 22 pages, 2010.

Optimizing Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Practical Issues: A Canadian Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline


Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) participation is the standard of care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who remain symptomatic despite bronchodilator therapies. However, there are questions about specific aspects of PR programming including optimal site of rehabilitation delivery, components of rehabilitation programming, duration of rehabilitation, target populations and timing of rehabilitation. The present document was compiled to specifically address these important clinical issues, using an evidence-based, systematic review process led by a representative interprofessional panel of experts.The evidence reveals there are no differences in major patient-related outcomes of PR between nonhospital- (community or home sites) or hospital-based sites. There is strong support to recommend that COPD patients initiate PR within one month following an acute exacerbation due to benefits of improved dyspnea, exercise tolerance and health-related quality of life relative to usual care. Moreover, the benefits of PR are evident in both men and women, and in patients with moderate, severe and very severe COPD. The current review also suggests that longer PR programs, beyond six to eight weeks duration, be provided for COPD patients, and that while aerobic training is the foundation of PR, endurance and functional ability may be further improved with both aerobic and resistance training.

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Thoracic Society. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (, which permits reuse, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.

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