Only 10% of people with COPD who are discharged after treatment for an exacerbation receive pulmonary rehabilitation – even though a service was in place – claim researchers in the UK.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a short course of regular exercise that aims to reduce the impact COPD has on a person’s quality of life.
Guidelines from the European Respiratory Society (ERS) suggest that pulmonary rehabilitation can reduce the severity of symptoms and increase a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities.
In the new study, researchers conducted a 12-month audit of data in London. They found that out of 448 discharges from hospital for COPD exacerbations only 43 were referred to and completed pulmonary rehabilitation, despite a service being available nearby.
90 referrals for post-hospitalisation rehabilitation had been made, but some patients did not start the process and others completed only part of it.
Lead researcher Sarah Jones, said: “Despite the strong evidence base, there are poor referral and uptake rates for early outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation following hospitalisation for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
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