Respiratory Rehabilitation and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: An Exploratory Review


1 Clinical Research Development Center of Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Shohada Tajrish Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Anesthesiology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

5 Trauma Research Center, Nursing Faculty, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the few major causes of death whose prevalence is continuing to rise in the world. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), as a component of the treatment protocol, should be considered for all patients with chronic respiratory disease who have persistent symptoms. The purpose of the study was to investigate PR in patients with COPD, following six questions including comprehensive definition, nature's mechanism, commencing indication, advantages and disadvantages, comprehensive dimensions, and the cornerstone dimension of PR. The University of York Center for Reviewers and Dissemination Guidance approach was used for searching seven databases (Science Direct, Ovid, Cochrane, Ebsco Host, Scopus, Pub Med, and SID) with nineteen keywords and different combinations of aforesaid nineteen keywords from the year 1985 to the January 2015. Thirty full texts met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed for responding to the six research questions. The results showed that PR consists of exercise training, education, nutritional intervention, support in self-management behaviors, and psychosocial support. The extensive review of the literature indicated exercise training is the cornerstone of PR, but the study also corroborated that psychological aspect of the patients with COPD is the most important and the first dimension in PR. Furthermore, before the commencing any education, the patients with COPD in any stages, must have an effective and useful psychological support for ameliorating and improving the applicability of the PR.