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Lung India. 2011 Oct;28(4):276-84. doi: 10.4103/0970-2113.85690.

Pulmonary rehabilitation: An overview.

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Division of Allergy and Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, India.


The burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has increased recently in developing countries. On the other hand, structured or non-structured rehabilitation services for COPD patients are not routinely available in these countries. We, therefore, planned this review to re-emphasize the emerging benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD population. Aim of this review is to stimulate pulmonary physicians in India and other resource-poor areas of the world so that they start using pulmonary rehabilitation or its components more often. The search included standard english literature PubMed citation of relevant original articles, review articles and practice guidelines. The articles and reviews were searched including standard MeSH terms - Rehabilitation (TIAB) and pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive/therapy (MAJOR) and guidelines (TIAB). Available 58 articles in English including 23 reviews from July 2001 to October 2010 were screened for evidence-based benefits regarding respiratory rehabilitation as a whole or its different components. The cross references and current citations relating to primary articles were also included for description. No attempt was done to make a systematic analysis because our purpose was not to derive evidence-based recommendations from database and because sufficient evidence is already available for benefits of selected components of pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD patients. Pulmonary rehabilitation has emerged as an important modality as an adjunct to other therapies in patients of COPD. Limited and more cost-effective protocols are to be developed and executed by healthcare providers, especially in developing countries like India.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; guidelines; rehabilitation

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