Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a respiratory condition that affects older individuals, of differing severity. There are multiple phenotypes of the disease but often many often suffer from the same symptoms; cough, shortness of breath, and exercise limitation. One such therapy that remains comprehensive, but can be tailored to people individually, is pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). PR aims to provide and improve upon patient education, leading to behaviour change, and advance exercise training.

The COPD clinic assesses patients three times per week in conjunction with our Nurse-Practitioner, Laurie Loveland. Due to the complexity of patient comorbidities, a thorough initial assessment is completed by multiple members of our allied health team, prior to entering the program.

The 8-week rehabilitation curriculum currently occurs on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at St. Joseph’s hospital and consists of group sessions of exercise training and self-management skills training. A separate education session occurs at Parkwood hospital over the 8 weeks by a specialized nurse educator as well as a physician. After completion, patients enrol in a 6-month maintenance program.

Throughout the entire program, and upon conclusion, patients are monitored and assessed by the team members and physicians. Once patients have completed their rehabilitation and maintenance programs, they have the physical ability and knowledge required to move forward with independent exercise in the community.