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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2018 Jul;15(7):769-784. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201804-253WS.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Education in Pulmonary Rehabilitation. An Official American Thoracic Society/Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand/Canadian Thoracic Society/British Thoracic Society Workshop Report.


According to the 2013 American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement on pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), education to promote effective self-management is a cornerstone of this intervention. Despite education's stature within PR, there is currently limited evidence supporting its overall efficacy, and minimal evidence guiding its optimal design and delivery. This workshop was convened to focus on the current state of education in PR for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, who are the most common people referred to PR. The workshop explored the learning needs and limitations of patients participating in PR, promising design features (from work done outside of PR) that may inform our approach to education, and professional development of PR healthcare educators. Areas identified as needing development include: 1) outcome assessment for the educational component; 2) screening patients for conditions that will impede the learning process (anxiety, depression, cognitive deficits and health literacy issues); 3) tailoring content and optimizing delivery of the educational component; and 4) training PR professionals in their roles as educators. By necessity, the workshop conclusions are painted in broad strokes. However, with ongoing interest in improving quality through individualized patient assessment, educational design innovations, and scientific scrutiny comparable to that given to exercise training, the educational component of PR may achieve effective self-management, leading to successful behavior change and enhancement in health.


COPD; education; pulmonary rehabilitation; workshop report

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